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[insert gunshot sound effects here]

Chapter Text

As the first bullet flies directly above Namjoon’s head, all he can think about is how he really, really doesn’t like Kim Seokjin.

Another bullet is followed by a succession, and Namjoon stops bothering counting and focuses more on moving one foot in front of the other. That, and yelling at the person running next to him, who is laughing way too loudly considering the circumstances.

“Hyung, I told you not to grab the briefcase!” Namjoon shouts, swerving slightly to the left just in time to avoid a bullet that blows through exactly where he just was. “I told you not to grab the briefcase, and what do you do? Grab the fucking briefcase !”

“Namjoon-ah, you’ve gotta look on the bright side of things,” Seokjin says, ducking his head to avoid a bullet lodging in his skull. “We’ve got the evidence! All we gotta do is drop it off with the American authorities and then we’re good to fly home!” Then there’s a set of keys flying Namjoon’s direction, and he barely manages to catch them. 

“Hey, you know I hate driving,” Namjoon whines.

“And I hate your driving, but you didn’t want to take the briefcase-”

“-Because it was a bad idea!”

Another bullet shoots right between the air they’re arguing into, and Seokjin sends Namjoon a nasty look (as if it’s Namjoon’s fault they’re being shot at right now! As if!) “I’m gonna take a slight swerve while you go get the car? Hopefully they’ll be more worried about shooting me since I have the briefcase, and you’ll be able to get the car started in one piece.”

Without waiting for confirmation from Namjoon, Seokjin veers off a separate direction, dodging through the trees in a stumbling way that has Namjoon ready to turn around and start shooting back, because just the thought of Seokjin being one step too slow and not making it-

Namjoon shakes his head, takes his hand off the gun in his holster, and keeps running. He’s grateful the gang didn’t decide to hold their meeting in the middle of the desert, or some other strange barren land. At least the maze of trees that Namjoon is tired of navigating offer some protection, though he whispers a small apology to all the plant life currently being injured due to the chaos Namjoon and Seokjin have racked up.

The car isn’t too far off, and Seokjin was right; most of the gunfire follows him, and the amount of men following Namjoon has dialed down to one. It’s a quick shot back, and Namjoon tries not to think too much about the sound of a human body falling to the ground, focusing more on running towards the car.

He unlocks the car with a double tap to the key fob, and hops in without a second thought. The engine only takes a moment to start, and he curses Seokjin as he tries to get adjusted in the driver seat. He hates driving, almost as much as he hates Seokjin at the moment, and he allows himself to take a deep breath before checking out the window to see if Seokjin’s on his way. 

It was supposed to be an easy, in-and-out type reconnaissance. Namjoon and Seokjin were supposed to watch the gang meeting place: take pictures of the deal going down, mark down any suspicious activity, and leave. Instead, Seokjin had been too tempted by the unattended briefcase that carried the money, suggested it would be great evidence, and without consultation from Namjoon (there’s an ongoing theme, Namjoon notes reluctantly) grabbed the briefcase that resulted in multiple people shooting at them. 

Gunshot sounds come into range again, and Namjoon prepares his foot on the gas pedal. He looks out the passenger window, biting his lower lip in concern as the gunshot sounds get closer, yet he can’t see Seokjin coming his way at all. 

So he’s only a little shocked when the driver’s side door swings open, and before Namjoon can even draw his weapon the entirety of Kim Seokjin falls on top of him, screaming for him to start driving.

“What the-” Namjoon starts, and then another gunshot goes right through the car and shatters the passenger side window, so Namjoon saves his questions and starts driving, trying not to think too much of the fact that his partner is sprawled across his lap, laughing like a maniac.

“I forgot I told you to drive,” Seokjin explains like Namjoon hasn’t already figured that out and now much more focused on the fact that Seokjin wiggling and in Namjoon’s lap. Which means that in Namjoon’s lap, there’s Seokjin, who’s wiggling. And one might think that after being shot at repeatedly, Namjoon might be more focused on staying alive rather than the fact that Seokjin is wiggling in his lap. But Namjoon likes to keep it simple, and sometimes that means focusing on the fact that his partner is wiggling in his lap. Not to mention the fact that Seokjin is wiggling in his lap. 

It’s a lot.

“Hey, I think they’re out of range now, you might want to slow the car down and shut the door,” Seokjin says once he manages to scoot from his spot on top of Namjoon to the passenger seat, buckling himself in with a proud little smile. “Also, can we stop by a gas station or something before we drop the case off with the feds? I’ve needed to tinkle for the last twenty minutes, and I don’t know how much longer I can hold it.”

Namjoon sighs and tells Seokjin to hold it.

They pull up to a gas station fifteen minutes later.

“Damn, you should’ve seen the look the cashier gave me when I walked in,” Seokjin says upon return. This time he properly enters via the passenger door. “I mean, I know I’ve had better days, but do I really look that bad?”

Namjoon doesn’t justify Seokjin’s words with an answer, mostly because he is one-hundred percent convinced that Kim Seokjin isn’t actually capable of not looking good. He’s much more convinced that the cashier was staring at Seokjin because he’s absolutely gorgeous, even with his hair out of place and his clothes wrinkled and covered in dirt. The average person wouldn’t look nearly as good after a shootout, but Namjoon’s learned over the past couple of years of working with Seokjin that he doesn’t necessarily follow average person rules.

“Are you ready to reflect on your behavior during this assignment?” Namjoon says instead, trying not to feel too bad about the pout that forms on Seokjin’s face as he tries to change the subject to something much more serious. “Really, Seokjin, we’re lucky we got out of there alive. Grabbing the briefcase was never part of the mission, and it would’ve gone smoothly if you would’ve just left it there.”

Seokjin stretches out in his seat, legs and arms shooting out as far as they can possibly stretch in the cramped containers. “Look, Namjoon-ah.” (Namjoon sighs, knowing he’s already going to cave when Seokjin addresses his name in such a sweet voice). “We’ve been in American for two weeks already. Do you know how long that is?”

“Two weeks too many,” Namjoon repeats the same speech Seokjin gave him this morning as they got ready at the hotel. “So what, you’re trying to tell me you risked our lives so you could ditch out of America a few days earlier?”

“I’m glad you understand, Namjoon-ah!”

Namjoon doesn’t understand, and doesn’t think he’ll ever understand Kim Seokjin. Maybe that’s where the dislike stems from.

“At least next time try to hop in on the right side of the car, okay?”

Seokjin laughs. “See, another reason why I need to hurry up and get back to Korea! All this weird American air has got my brain all messed up! But hey, at least I got into the right car! Imagine if I would’ve jumped into the wrong car!” Seokjin ponders for a moment before adding, “Though I’ve always wanted to jump out of a speeding car! Doesn’t that sound like fun, Namjoon-ah?”

Namjoon’s only slightly tempted to show Seokjin what it’d be like to be pushed out of a speeding car.

+++

 

“They’re back!”

It’s too early in the morning for Namjoon to be attacked by Park Jimin, but he accepts the hug from his short teammate anyway. He’s a fierce hugger which Namjoon has always admired in a way that only makes sense coming from someone who’s too awkward to initiate such intimate contact by himself.

“Thank God ,” Taehyung announces with a sigh. He leans back in his chair, swiveling from side to side with both feet resting on the top of his desk. “We haven’t had a good case the entire time you’ve been gone.”

Letting go of Namjoon, Jimin reaffirms Taehyung’s statement with a pout. “The director’s been forcing us to sort through all of the old case files and upload them electronically to the databases. Do you know how many case files we have?”

Namjoon doesn’t want to think about organizing old case files, especially since he’s known for being on the sloppier side when filling out reports, throwing them in whatever file as long as it gets it off his desk. His desk is the cleanest it’s been in months, probably thanks to a bored Jimin and Taehyung trying to find ways to keep busy that didn’t involve sorting through files. It’s a nice scene to come back to after two rough weeks abroad, where most of his days have been throwing clothes in a bag just fast enough to avoid being killed.

“Probably a lot,” Namjoon says, patting the top of Jimin’s head and taking a step away. “I suppose I’m here to help you out now though.”

“Oh, I wouldn’t bet on that.”

Director Min Yoongi walks in their office with a coffee in one hand and a file in the other. His hair is freshly dyed minty green, and paired with a worn leather jacket and distressed jeans, one might think that the director got called in on his day off. However, anyone who’s worked in the force long enough knows that Yoongi has a strong distaste for any article of clothing that could be considered formal wear.

“Oh, is that a case for us?” Jimin immediately makes his way towards Yoongi, making grabby hands at the file in his hands. “If you’re hand delivering it, that means it’s a real juicy one, right? Oh, I hope someone died!”

The office goes silent. Yoongi clears his throat and glares at Jimin.

“Okay, I don’t hope someone died,” Jimin rectifies, not sounding completely sincere. “But if someone did die, I think it might be nice if we got to investigate it, you know?” 

Yoongi doesn’t look impressed with Jimin’s answer, but he hands him over the file before tossing a flash drive over to Taehyung. “Taehyung, can you pull the images up on the screen?” Taehyung nods, quickly getting to work. A moment later, the screen displays a picture of a backstreet alley taped off with crime scene tape, and in the center of it all, Namjoon can spot the cause of it all: two dead bodies.

“A double homicide! Nice!” Jimin exclaims, immediately piping down when everyone looks at him in slight horror. “I mean, what happened?”

Yoongi cues Taehyung to switch to the next slide, which is a picture focusing more of the bodies. It’s impossible to miss the parts of their chests where bullet wounds are present, blood from the injuries seeping blood into their shirts. Just like it’s impossible to miss the gunshots to their face, and Namjoon watches Taehyung look away from the screen with a wince, never the best with the more gruesome looking crime scenes.

“Someone wanted them dead, that’s for sure,” Namjoon murmurs. There’s too many obviously fatal gunshots for it to be a professional job unless the person had an emotional vendetta against the two men. Even an amatuer wouldn’t tend to waste that many bullets. “Do we know which shot is the official cause of death?”

Yoongi shakes his head. “The local cops found the bodies after an anonymous tip. I’ve already requested for the bodies to be shipped over to us though, so they should be down with Hoseok in the next couple of hours hopefully.”

“If the local cops found them, why’s the case being turned over to us?” Taehyung asks, peering at the pictures from his own screen. He clicks through the next couple of pictures which all focus on the bodies until the pictures show focused shots of shell casings slightly farther down from the alley.

“Because the two of them are in our system,” Yoongi says with a sigh. “No IDs on the bodies, but they match our profiles for two known men involved in a big arms trafficking system in the country. We’ve actually been keeping tabs on them the last few months. They were supposed to show up for a big sale next week.”

Jimin snorts. “Not anymore.”

“Oh, they’re going to be there,” Yoongi says, and that’s when his gaze finally meets Namjoon’s. Before Yoongi even opens his mouth, Namjoon knows what he’s going to say, and he definitely doesn’t like it, but he keeps his mouth shut as Yoongi jokes, “I hope you didn’t unpack your bags yet, Namjoon. If everything goes smoothly, you and Seokjin will be set up to leave tomorrow.”

That’s when Yoongi finally realizes that one of the team members is missing, spinning on his heel to face Seokjin’s empty desk. He sighs, burying his face in his hands. “I don’t suppose Seokjin has any particular reason for being late, does he?”

As if on cue, the elevator on the other side of the hall dings, and Seokjin makes his grand appearance. Similar to Yoongi, he has a coffee in one hand, but his other hand also holds a coffee, which he promptly offers to Namjoon as he approaches the desks.

Namjoon looks skeptically at the coffee. “What’s this for?”

Seokjin rolls his eyes. “So you can’t be mad with me anymore, obviously.” He ends the sentence with a wink, and sets the coffee on Namjoon’s desk before he can protest any further (or explain that a single cup of coffee won’t even make a dent in the apology Namjoon feels like he deserves from Seokjin).

“Oh, double homicide, nice!” Seokjin gives two thumbs up, and manages to lean over to give Jimin a high five. Then he finally acknowledges Yoongi, who’s been glaring holes into the back of Seokjin’s head the entire time.

“‘Oh, Yoongi-ah! Good morning!” The first time Namjoon had heard Seokjin refer to Yoongi without proper honorifics, he swore he was about to witness his partner get murdered by his boss right in front of his eyes. There’s a history between the two that no one’s really sure about the details of, probably something along the lines of childhood friends, Namjoon’s told himself. Whatever it is, Seokjin gets away with a lot more than he should, and Namjoon is forced to admire the patience his boss has when dealing with Seokjin.

Seokjin cleaned up nicely, Namjoon notes. For someone who had complained about his skin care routine their entire trip, Seokjin’s skin looks flawless as usual, a soft glow that Namjoon’s always wondered if it’d be as soft to touch. His dark hair is longer than usual, bangs parted to the side, exposing his forehead and allowing Seokjin to see. Like Yoongi, he’s not good with work clothes protocol, and he practically drowns in the oversized pink hoodie he wears. The hoodie actually looks familiar, Namjoon realizes, and then-

“Hey! That’s my jacket!”

As Namjoon should’ve expected, Seokjin doesn’t look surprised nor guilty with the revelation, and if anything, a little smug. It’s only slightly annoying to Namjoon that the jacket looks better on Seokjin than it does on Namjoon, but it’s Seokjin, so Namjoon has stopped being surprised by things like that.

“Good work, detective! An extra star by your name today!” Seokjin then turns to the small whiteboard sitting on his desk, which looks like it belongs in a primary school classroom. With great pleasure, Seokjin finds Namjoon’s name on the board and draws an extra big star next to it. “Jimin and Taehyung will get one too, just because they’re too cute, you know?” Seokjin turns back to Yoongi. ‘’Ah, I think I’ll have to take off a star from you, Yoongi-ah. No stars for grumpy directors.”

“Seokjin-” Yoongi ignores Seokjin’s remarks without blinking, gesturing back up at the screen. “As I was explaining to everyone before you showed up late-”

Seokjin looks up from his whiteboard (where it suspiciously looks like he was drawing extra hearts next to Namjoon’s name, certainly in hopes of trying to annoy Namjoon) and his goofy expression suddenly morphs into the serious one, almost like a mask he puts on before starting work for the day.

Phobos and Deimos , a pair of young men who’ve been under our radar for years for being involved with illegal firearm sales,” Seokjin says, tone even. “It’s unfortunate they showed up dead, considering they were the closest thing we had to a lead when it came to catching a break in the arms trafficking case.”

It amazes Namjoon how Seokjin is capable of so much knowledge when there’s sometimes Namjoon’s working with Seokjin and it feels like there’s nothing inside his head but bad jokes and poor decisions (not even the two brain cells Seokjin occasionally claims to share with Jungkook). The case isn’t anything within Namjoon’s knowledge, which isn’t weird because the case has never been of their team’s concern. Once Seokjin mentions the name, a little bit of it sounds familiar, but nothing that pops into Namjoon’s mind is the extent of Seokjin’s information. 

It’s times like these where Namjoon remembers why - despite all the frustration Seokjin causes him - he respects his partner.

 Seokjin frowns, completely focused on the screen that displays a picture of the dead bodies. “I’m assuming we’re supposed to track down who killed them? It’ll be the closest thing to a lead with these two gone.”

Before Yoongi can answer, Jimin suddenly shoots up from his desk, case file clutched tightly between both of his hands. His lips are pressed tightly together, and Namjoon’s about to ask what’s wrong when the corners of Jimin’s lips turn upward into a smile and he giggles before rushing over to Taehyung’s side. He shoves the file in front of Taehyung’s face, pointing and whispering until Taehyung wears the same giddy expression as him, and Namjoon feels even more lost.

“Five bucks Seokjin-hyung will protest more,” Jimin whispers to Taehyung.

“Are you kidding me? Seokjin won’t get a word of protest with the way Namjoon-hyung will end up whining.” Namjoon is definitely curious about what the two are talking about now, and he stands up from his seat as he tries to think about some sort of argument against whatever the two think would make Namjoon whine . Namjoon doesn’t like to think he whines, but when he does give into moments of weakness that cause him to whine, it’s most likely something to do with Seokjin. 

“If you would’ve showed up on time ,” Yoongi glares at Seokjin, “then you would’ve heard that I’m sending you and Namjoon undercover, starting tomorrow.”

Namjoon knows that Seokjin shamelessly enjoys going undercover, always (loudly) claiming that undercover situations are the shining lights in the bleak road Seokjin took when he decided not to pursue acting. He’s ready for Seokjin to have the same reaction he always does when they’re assigned an undercover mission: puffed out chest, smug grin, jutted chin and maybe even a hand running through his hair.

So he’s shocked when he looks over to find Seokjin staring at Yoongi with wide eyes - shock? But his cheeks are also turning a deep red, something that definitely doesn’t correlate with typical shocked reactions: flustered?

Namjoon shakes his head. Seokjin doesn’t get flustered; if anything, he causes the world around him to become a blushing mess, but certainly never the other way around. The sight is definitely something new, watching Seokjin bounce back and forth between his feet, gaze long since left Yoongi’s and instead facing the floor. His blush has spread to the tips of his ears and Namjoon is almost tempted to reach out and touch Seokjin’s ears, just to see how warm they are. It’s not often Namjoon gets to see his partner so unmasked, and he’d swear the funny feeling in his stomach was butterflies if it weren’t for the fact that he’s staring at Seokjin.

He doesn’t reach out for Seokjin, as tempted as he is. He’s more distracted by Taehyung and Jimin’s giggling, and when they notice him staring Taehyung quickly leans forward at his desk to mess with his computer, and the picture of the display changes again. This time, it’s a zoomed in photo of the bodies, in particular, their hands.

And that’s when Namjoon finally notices their matching wedding bands.

“Wait,” Namjoon mutters, bringing his hands up to his head, fingers lightly pulling at the longer strands of hair. “Wait, are they-”

“Technically, until we get an official ID on them, we can’t confirm anything,” Jimin says, holding up the report and waving it Namjoon’s direction. “But reports say that they’ve been wearing the rings for a couple years now, and they’ve been spotted multiple times being,” Jimin wiggles his eyebrows, “romantically affiliated.”

Taehyung flashes Namjoon a boxy grin. “AKA, you and Seokjin-hyung are going undercover as-”

“-a married couple,” Namjoon finishes, and he wonders if the ground can swallow him whole as the words settle in his mind and the realization hits. He turns to Yoongi, who looks completely impassive about the whole ordeal. Or that’s what Namjoon thinks, until he looks a little harder and swears he can see the beginning of a smirk at the corner of Yoongi’s lips.

“Why can’t we send Taehyung and Jimin?” Seokjin speaks up, voice slightly higher pitched than normal. “Look at them! They wouldn’t even need to act!”

Everyone looks over at Jimin and Taehyung, and it’s not like Seokjin is making things up. Jimin has somehow ended up in Taehyung’s lap, one of Taehyung’s arms wrapped around his waist, securing the smaller detective in place. It’s nothing out of the ordinary for them, in fact, maybe it’s on the tamer side for the two of them, the lack of handholding and hair touching probably due to Yoongi’s presence.

“Oh? Is acting going to be an issue for you, Seokjin?” Yoongi says, not looking the least bit convinced by Seokjin’s argument. Seokjin deflates at Yoongi’s words, definitely not desperate enough to admit to false insecurity about his acting talents. 

“Shouldn’t I at least take Taehyung with me then?” Seokjin tries again, though this time stings more for Namjoon. Namjoon is a professional for expressing his distaste for working with Seokjin, but he can’t recall a time where Seokjin has ever been anything less than ecstatic with work with Namjoon. Namjoon isn’t the greatest actor, definitely not as good as Taehyung, but he thinks he’s good enough to get the job done and it kind of hurts hearing that his partner doesn’t think the same.

“Deimos and Phobos have been doing business globally,” Yoongi says. “It’s beyond probable that at least one of them speaks fluent English.” He shrugs. “And apparently we didn’t watch Friends as well as Namjoon did, so you’ll need him.”

Seokjin weakly gestures over to Taehyung and Jimin. “They can speak English! Right guys?”

Jimin and Taehyung face each other with raised eyebrows, as if it’s the first time they’ve heard the news. But then they laugh, and Jimin taps Taehyung’s chest with his fist. “ You are my soulmate !” He shouts in English, and Taehyung quickly shouts it back before squeezing Jimin tightly in a hug.

Seokjin doesn’t even come up with a different protest, simply sitting back down, slumping into his desk. He covers his face with his hands, and without making any attempt to look at Yoongi, he asks, “So what time do we leave tomorrow?”

Yoongi’s impassive expression finally turns into a smile, gums and teeth exposed as he stares at a defeated Seokjin. “No later than evening, but it depends when forensics gets back with any evidence on the rings, but then I’ll be able to hand them over to you guys.”

Looking satisfied, Yoongi begins to walk away, only to be stopped by Seokjin one last time.

“Hey, do we at least get a wedding gift?”

Yoongi laughs.

“Maybe figure out who was trying to buy weapons from these two, and then we’ll talk.”

Chapter Text

Despite Yoongi’s joke, unfortunately Namjoon does have to spend the evening unpacking his bags from their last mission, staring despondently at the pile of dirty clothes that stack up on his bedroom floor, demanding to be washed. He realizes when Seokjin must’ve stolen his pink hoodie, a realization he comes upon when vague memories of packing the jacket come to mind but it’s nowhere to be seen in his luggage. The hoodie Seokjin had been wearing earlier definitely had been cleaned, and a funny feeling settles in Namjoon’s stomach as he considers his clothes smelling like Seokjin. Or maybe the hoodie still smells like Namjoon, even as Seokjin wears the hoodie home tonight. 

Namjoon sighs, dismissing the thoughts before he spends the entire evening wondering if Seokjin thinks Namjoon’s clothes smell bad. Instead he focuses on ignoring his laundry, opting to do a giant batch of laundry once he gets back from this mission. He dumps the last of what remains in his bag, a stray sock and toothbrush falling out, and begins packing the bare minimum. Part of his wardrobe will be provided by work, including the suit he’ll need for the more formal events they’ll be attending.

His phone rings, and Namjoon kicks his laundry pile to the side as he picks up his cell, taking a seat on his bed. He doesn’t need to check the caller ID; Seokjin changed the ringtone to some sappy romance song he doesn’t actually know the name of, and at this point Namjoon is so used to his partner calling him at strange hours of the night that rather than questioning the phone call, he quietly hums along to the music before picking up.

“Oh, Namjoon-ah, you’re awake!”

Namjoon glances at the clock; it’s almost eleven at night. Seokjin sounds like he’s on his third cup of coffee, maybe on his fourth.

“I could’ve been sleeping,” Namjoon grumbles, knowing very well that he can’t think off the top of his head the last time he’s been in bed before midnight. “What do you want, hyung?”

Seokjin clicks his tongue. “That’s the problem with you young folks, always trying to get straight to the point.” Seokjin sighs, and Namjoon can hear him swish the remaining coffee in his cup like he’s debating whether to get another refill. “Maybe I called because I wanted to tell you how lovely you looked today.”

“Hyung, you’ve never said anything like that. Like, ever.”

Another click of the tongue. “You’ve always been too smart for me to outfool, Namjoon-ah,” Seokjin says. “Anyway, I’m still at the office and I’ve got a lead on where Deimos and Phobos were staying before they wound up dead. Some hotel not too far from where the bodies were found, and I figured we should check it out before we leave. Might find something that gives us a better idea of what we’re walking into.”

Namjoon looks down at his pajamas. “I really hope you don’t mean right now.”

“No, I still have to go home and pack,” Seokjin says, the sigh that follows suggesting that he’s just as reluctant to pack as Namjoon. “I just wanted to tell you to set your alarm early for tomorrow, it’s like an hour drive, but we also need to swing by and check and see what Hoseok has for us tomorrow as well.”

“Couldn’t you have just texted me that?” Namjoon grumbles, but he’s already setting an alarm for the morning. It’s a reluctant alarm, the one he sets three others for in five minute intervals afterwards, because he’ll definitely sleep through at least one of them.

“I accidentally stapled my thumb earlier and now it hurts too much to type,” Seokjin says. If he was anyone but Namjoon, he’d make fun of Seokjin, but since he is Namjoon and has stapled his own fingers on accident multiple times, and makes the closest thing to a sympathetic grunt.

“But also, you’re packing right now, right?” Seokjin bounces back from his tragic accident story quickly, and Namjoon can picture how he’s sitting in the office right now; probably at Namjoon’s desk because he claims it’s comfier even though his own desk is exactly the same, both legs kicked up on the desk as he swivels back in forth in a chair that is ready to have its last swivel, if the squeaky noises in the background give hint to anything.

“Oh, I’m basically done,” Namjoon lies, looking at his empty suitcase. “You should hurry up and head home too, I know you take forever to pack.”

“Sweet of you to think of me, Namjoon-ah.” 

“I’m not thinking about you, I’m thinking about me . Don’t think I’ll come this time to help you pack last minute.”

“You said that last time Namjoon, but I sure do recall you helping me throw clothes into my suitcase a couple of weeks ago when our flight to America was scheduled to leave in two hours,” Seokjin says in a sing-song voice and god , Namjoon wants to punch him and himself because Seokjin is absolutely right and Namjoon will probably be at Seokjin’s place a few hours before they have to leave to help pack, just like he always is. At this point, Namjoon thinks he might know where some things in Seokjin’s house are better than Seokjin himself.

“I’ve actually already packed, believe it or not,” Namjoon definitely doesn’t, but he doesn’t say anything, “so I won’t be needing your assistance this time. I just wanted to remind you to pack that one sweater of yours, the beige one with the zipper on the front? I like that one.”

“On me, or you?”

Seokjin laughs, squeaky as the chair he keeps swivelling in. “Me, obviously. Anyway, I said please, so don’t forget about it.”

Namjoon’s about the protest about Seokjin definitely not saying any word that even remotely sounds like the word please, but before he can Seokjin is talking again, claiming that he has an appointment with his fourth cup of coffee for the night.

“Ah, and Namjoon?” Namjoon expects another wardrobe request, or maybe a bad joke to end the call with because it feels a little strange to have a conversation with Seokjin without one pun being involved, so he’s thrown off when Seokjin says gently, “I just wanted to tell you how lovely you looked today.”

It’s part of Seokjin’s method acting, getting ready for the part of a married couple - Namjoon tells his traitorously red cheeks.

 

+++

 

When Namjoon arrives at work, Seokjin is waiting for him at his desk. Waiting seems like the wrong word to describe it, since Seokjin’s dead asleep with his face pressed against Namjoon’s keyboard. But it’s what Seokjin claims when he startles awake at the call of his name, hands slamming harshly onto the desk and knocking over the cup that holds all of Namjoon’s pen. Seokjin only looks slightly apologetic when he looks over at Namjoon with wide eyes, gaze quickly dropping down to the second coffee cup in Namjoon’s hand.

“Kim Namjoon, that coffee better be for me.” Even with sleep seeping into his voice, Seokjin sounds close to drawing his weapon on Namjoon if he says no. Luckily for Namjoon, the second coffee is for Seokjin, a last minute thought he had when he stopped at the coffee shop.

(Now, if the thought of a certain coworker suffering by having to drink another round of crappy coffee from their half-broken coffee machine motivated Namjoon to stop at the coffee shop in the first place, no one had to know).

“Only if you sit at your own desk,” Namjoon says with a pointed glare, continuing to glare until with a reluctant sigh, Seokjin slides out of his chair, snatching the coffee from Namjoon’s hand. 

Instead of going back to his own desk though, Seokjin says, “You’re just in time, I was about to go visit Hobi. Hoping he might give us a hint on what to look for when we go check out the hotel.”

The elevator ride down to the morgue is quiet, which is just a sign that Seokjin’s more tired; on a day where he’s had more sleep, Seokjin loves to fill up elevator rides with as many jokes as he can, especially when they’re going down to visit Hoseok. He claims it has to do with boosting the mood because they pick up all the dead body vibes, but Namjoon’s not convinced that it’s possible for bodies to give off vibes when they’re dead.

“Ah, I was wondering when you two would stop by!” Hoseok greets them, waving them over with a gloved hand. “Though I suppose it was for the best, if you’re looking for me to tell you something.”

Seokjin frowns. “That doesn’t sound like you have anything for me, Hobi.”

Hoseok shrugs. “Well, they didn’t get the bodies over here until an hour ago, so I admittedly haven’t had much time to investigate,” he explains.

“Just go over what you have so far,” Namjoon says, joining Hoseok by the mortuary tables. Namjoon tries not to laugh when Seokjin follows behind him, peeking from over his shoulder. Most people think Seokjin’s better at dealing with dead bodies than Taehyung, but Namjoon knows it’s more like Seokjin is just better at hiding. It’s not the worst habit of Seokjin’s, and it’s certainly not the worst trait for a detective to have, and Namjoon finds it hard to tease Seokjin about it. So he doesn’t say anything, even when it’s obvious Seokjin is using him as a human barrier.

“Forensics is still waiting for DNA and fingerprint matches, and facial identification is made difficult by the amount of damage delivered.” Hoseok explains. “From what I can tell, all the gunshots happened in succession, so it’d be unprofessional of me to claim one of them as the killing blow.”

“Time of death?” Seokjin asks from behind Namjoon, hooking his chin on Namjoon’s shoulder. His hair brushes against Namjoon’s cheek. He can smell the faint remains of Seokjin’s floral shampoo.
Hoseok smiles. “I can answer that, “ he says. “Judging by the state of the body, I estimate that only a day had passed before the body was discovered. I checked with the coroner who examined the body at the original site, and they came to a similar conclusion.”

Seokjin nods, and there goes his hair again, rubbing against Namjoon’s face. He gets another waft of Seokjin’s shampoo, and this time he’s sure the floral scent is sweet pea. Namjoon turns his head to try to get a proper smell and suddenly he notices Hoseok is staring at him with a smug grin that Namjoon doesn’t know the reasons for but he certainly doesn’t like, so he quickly pulls away from Seokjin’s hair and asks, “Can you tell what kind of gun was used? How far away the shots came from?”

“Crime scene report said they didn’t find any shell casings,” Seokjin notes. “So we’re going off the assumption that the alley was just a place to dump the bodies. So until they find the actual murder location, whatever information you can give us helps.”

“Unfortunately, the close proximity of the shots makes it hard to determine the shape of the original bullets, and in the same boat it’s hard to tell what distance the attack came from.” Seokjin boos loudly in response, which Hoseok tries to calm by adding, “I can tell you that these two were probably caught off guard. Jungkook and I’ve looked over their entire bodies and can’t find anything that looks like defense wounds.”

Seokjin furrows his brows, leaning forward to get a better look at the two bodies, and using one hand on Namjoon’s shoulder to balance himself, Seokjin uses his other to point to the farther of the two bodies, which is currently facing down on his stomach. “What are those then? Aren’t those scratches all over his back?”

Namjoon had spotted the markings over the victims back as well, but hadn’t bothered saying anything due to his own assumptions of what the scratches were from. Judging from Seokjin’s serious expression, he hasn’t made the same assumptions, and judging from the laughter Hoseok erupts into, Namjoon’s assumption is probably on point.

“Why are you laughing?” Seokjin asks with a pout. “Are they just weird tattoos or something and I just need to get a new prescription? Because admittedly it’s been awhile since I’ve see the eye doctor and recently it’s been harder to read-”

“What are you laughing about now?”

Jungkook comes from the back room with a stack of files in his hand, looking at Hoseok curiously until he spots Namjoon and Seokjin, and he shifts the files to one arm so he can wave at the two of them with a friendly smile, teeth exposed.

“Hobi-hyung was just whining that none of you guys had come and visited him yet, so good timing,” Jungkook says, smiling even wider when Hoseok starts protesting about not whining, and about how maybe he wouldn’t have to feel so lonely if his assistant wasn't so busy finishing up his paperwork. “So what’s the joke that I missed?”

“I was just going over these two with them,” Hoseok says after finishing his protests with a huff. He gestures to the two bodies. “Actually, Seokjin-hyung was just questioning the markings on the second victim, Deimos.” When Jungkook starts fidgeting, shoving his hands into his coat pockets, Hoseok cackles. “Hyung, did you know that Jungkook had the same question when we were examining the bodies?”

Seokjin huffs. “And?”

“I’m going to tell you the same thing I told Jungkook,” Hoseok says, reaching out to wrap his arm around Jungkook, the younger assistant not looking at all excited to be dragged into Hoseok’s storytime. “First, you need to watch more porn-”

“Actually, while I generally have a preference for erotic novels, I can reassure you I have a healthy appetite for porn as well-”

“-and second, you need to keep in mind that these two were a married couple .”

At this point, Namjoon wants to die of mortification even from the second hand embarrassment he knows his partner is about to experience, and he thinks a little part of him does die after a moment passes and Seokjin finally exclaims, “Oh!” And then another moment, and Seokjin’s “oh” is a lot quieter.

“I guess couples do things like that!” Seokjin finally says, and Namjoon doesn’t have to look at Seokjin to know how bright red his ears must be.

“I think the word you’re looking for is sex!” Hoseok provides, and that’s all it takes for Seokjin to squeak, peel himself off Namjoon and run off insisting he has a phone call to make. Hoseok laughs the entire time, making obscene gestures with his hands when Seokjin glances back at them before stepping out into the hallway.

“What’s got him so riled up? I feel like he’s usually making bad gestures along with Hobi-hyung,” Jungkook says, eyeing the door Seokjin just left from.

“Oh, Jungkook, didn’t you hear?” Hoseok looks pleased that he’s the one who gets to reveal the information to Jungkook, like it’s hot gossip he’s been waiting to spill. When Jungkook shakes his head, Hoseok happily explains, “Seokjin-hyung and Namjoon are going undercover as our lovely couple!”

“No way!” Jungkook bounces up and down in excitement, his smug grin mirroring Hoseok’s. Namjoon groans, because he’s already been laughed at by Jimin and Taehyung for the undercover case, and while he didn’t expect much from Hoseok, he was at least hoping Jungkook would be on his side, the coroner’s assistant always willing to be sweet for Namjoon.

“It’s not that big of a deal,” Namjoon tries. It’s not that big of a deal, he’s convinced himself, because both Seokjin and him are professionals. It’s definitely the most awkward uncover role they’ve been assigned, but it’s his job, and he’s decided that there’s no reason to feel weird about it.

“Seokjin-hyung won’t even have to worry about acting,” Jungkook says, and he goes to meet Hoseok for a high-five before realizing Hoseok is gloved up and he retracts his hand.

“What do you mean?” Namjoon thinks that Seokjin never has to worry about acting because unlike Namjoon, he’s pretty good at it. Really good at it, actually, though Namjoon tries not to tell Seokjin too often.

Jungkook grins. “Well, you see…”

Seokjin comes bursting in the door, and before Jungkook can explain any further Seokjin is running towards him and tackles him from behind. He has both arms wrapped around Jungkook’s neck, and he manages to jump high enough to wrap his legs around Jungkook’s waist. Jungkook’s strong enough to prevent Seokjin from falling, even though he doesn’t look happy about how he’s suddenly carrying Seokjin.

“Carry me upstairs!” Seokjin orders, jabbing Jungkook in the side when Jungkook tries to protest. “Upstairs! Now! My warrant for busting the hotel is waiting for me!” Jungkook gives up easily, sighing as he readjusts Seokjin on his back and grumbling about how they’re definitely going to take the elevator up.

Seokjin turns to Namjoon. Sticks his tongue out. “Race you upstairs!” And Namjoon doesn’t have time to respond, Seokjin already ordering Jungkook to take off. A few seconds later, it’s just Hoseok and Namjoon left in the morgue.

Namjoon groans. “He drives me fucking crazy, you know? Sometimes, I just wish he would act his age, you know?”

Hoseok snorts. “If you take the stairs, you’ll probably beat him.”

“You think?”

Hoseok nods, and the next moment Namjoon is leaving Hoseok to run up the stairs as fast as he can.




+++

 

The hotel receptionist takes kindly to Seokjin, giggling along with his bad jokes as he leans over the counter and indulges her - and the kind attitude lasts all until he pulls his badge out and demands to be given the keys to a certain room.

“You know, I think we could’ve had a pretty good friendship if she didn’t start screaming at me when I pulled the warrant out,” Seokjin says when they enter the hotel room.

Namjoon thinks if he would’ve given Seokjin another minute, he probably would’ve brought the relationship back to a friendly note. Too many years of knowing Seokjin means Namjoon knows too well how weak people are for Seokjin’s friendly attitude (definitely not including himself; Namjoon considers himself a vital part of the anti-Seokjin’s charm committee).

“The receptionist said that she hadn’t seen anyone show up since the two of them left a couple of days ago. They had only booked the hotel until today,” Namjoon repeats what he read from the report. He scans the room. “It doesn’t look like anyone’s been here.”

The hotel room isn’t clean, but it’s appropriately messy for a hotel room that’s had the ‘do-not-disturb’ sign up for the last few days. The bed sheets are bundled at the end of the bed, and there’s two open suitcases on the floor. A loud snap fills the room as Seokjin puts gloves on, starting to sort through the items on the small table in the corner by the window.

“I’ve already gone ahead and requested the camera footage from the hallways, but I think you’re right,” Seokjin says with a sigh. “Whatever happened to the two of them didn’t happen here, and if whoever did it was after something they had, they didn’t know to come here.”

Namjoon puts on his own pair of gloves. “You think there’s something worthwhile here?” He heads towards the bathroom, keeping the door propped open so he can still talk to Seokjin. There’s barely any personal effects except for two brightly colored two brushes sitting on the counter. The bristles are dry, and the shower doesn’t show any signs of being used recently either. 

“They weren’t planning on leaving yet, right? So they would’ve left at least some of their important things here, right?” Namjoon goes back to the bed area, opening the drawer of the nightstand. He tries not to stare too hard at the bottle of lube and condom package, sifting through the other items shoved in the drawer; it’s definitely more than a hotel usually puts in there.

“Something like this?” Namjoon pulls out a notebook, no bigger than the side of his hand. It looks too worn to belong to the hotel, and when he starts flipping through the pages, there’s handwriting. He stops flipping and goes back to the beginning.

“Well, at least we know we were on track for where they were planning to go next,” Namjoon says as he reads the page, flipping to the next page. At this point, Seokjin had joined him, peering at the mini notebook with Namjoon. The first page has the name, address and phone number of the hotel they’re planned to go undercover at.

“They booked their hotel room from here, that’s how we figured out this was where they were staying,” Seokjin says, tugging to book out of Namjoon’s hands. Namjoon doesn’t say anything, letting Seokjin flip through the pages at his own discretion. “I don’t see any other names, but,” Seokjin stops, shoving the notebook Namjoon’s direction. The handwriting is worse than his own, scribbles on paper that can barely count as letters. It takes him a moment to decipher it.

“Starting bid,” Namjoon reads. There’s a list of numbers after that, each one followed by a question mark like they couldn’t decide. The first few numbers are crossed out, but the remaining list suggests the two arms dealer’s couldn’t come to a decision. “It’s an auction.”

“Probably,” Seokjin says, tossing the notebook back to Namjoon. “It’s not much to go off though. No potential bidders, no information on what they were actually selling.” Seokjin turns to the nightstand, opening the drawer. “Was there anything else in here?” Namjoon answers no just in time to hear the drawer slam shut, and he can only assume Seokjin saw the other activity-based goods the couple had put in there.

After bagging the notebook as evidence, they search the room for another twenty minutes, and Namjoon is on his knees checking the floor when Seokjin shouts in delight that he’s found a phone.

“Typical burn phone. No outgoing or incoming calls on the call log,” Seokjin grumbles, disappointed when the phone doesn’t seem to give them any extra information. “Oh, but I’ve got some phone numbers in the contact list!”

“Any names?”

“Nah, just phone numbers and a single initial. But hopefully someone in the office can track down who the phone numbers belong to.” It’s another object that goes in an evidence bag, and Seokjin announces with glee that he’s caught up with Namjoon, and whoever finds the next big piece of evidence wins for the day.

“It’s not a competition,” Namjoon grumbles, already desperately looking for the next piece of evidence. It leads him to look through the couples’ suitcases for a second time, this time fondling each piece of clothing in case any of the pockets carried anything.

It leads to nothing on both ends, and after an hour passes Seokjin and Namjoon give up on finding anything else. As they’re leaving, they pass by a group of crime scene techs that Namjoon can only hope find more than they did. Seokjin whispers loudly enough for them to hear that he’s already found the best evidence.

“I’m hoping these numbers belong to whoever they were planning to sell to,” Seokjin says on the car ride back. “Of course, I’m guessing most of the numbers in the contacts will lead back to burner phones, but it’s always nice to dream.”

“How many numbers were there? Around five, right?” Namjoon tries his best to think out loud, hoping that any mistakes he has Seokjin will correct, hoping that any half-complete ideas he has will be finished by Seokjin. There’s also a part of him that knows he’s not exactly looking for feedback, just a friendly ear to listen to him try to sort his thoughts. “If we assume those are all the potential buyers, that means we have five buyers. But now we have to question whether Deimos and Phobos are going to the hotel to host the auction, or to deliver the already purchased goods.”

“Maybe someone bought the weapons, but didn’t want to pay up,” Seokjin contributes. He’s definitely driving above the speed limit, but it’s too early for lunch traffic so the roads are relatively clear. Even so, it’s easy to hear the little spaces between Seokjin’s words as he tries to focus on the road. “Take the guns, kill the dealers, keep the money. Sounds like a pretty normal thing to me.”

“Except there’s been no reports of massive weapon transfers,” Namjoon says. “The notebook had the starting bid, but didn’t have any notes about any other bids. The burner phone didn’t have any evidence that the dealers were in contact with anyone to take offers. More likely, the auction has yet to open.”

Seokjin smiles. “Remind me to put a gold star next to your name when we get back to the office!”

“I rather not.”

“Well, with that attitude, I might just have to take away yesterday’s star!”

Namjoon almost feels bad once they get back to the office and Seokjin stares at him remorsefully as he erases the star he drew next to Namjoon’s name the day before (though the tiny hearts surrounding Namjoon’s name stay where they are). 

Instead of reminding Seokjin that Namjoon bought him coffee this morning and therefore he deserves to keep his star (after all, he can’t lose to Jimin and Taehyung), Namjoon tries to focus on his actual job and fill out his report. His computer makes strange noises, the processor struggling to whirr to life as it tries to boot up for the first time of the day, and Namjoon feels like there’s a greater metaphor about life at play that he’s just a little too tired to put his finger on.

He expects if he ignores Seokjin’s star agenda long enough, Seokjin will get to work sooner than later, especially since both Jimin and Taehyung are currently out of the office as well. 

Instead, he notices that he doesn’t hear Seokjin’s computer being turned on at all, and he looks over to see what Seokjin’s doing. He sighs when he sees Seokjin’s already looking at him with a wide grin, and he prepares himself for whatever Seokjin has planned now.

“Anyway, you’ll finish the rest of the report for me, right?”

Seokjin is already out from his desk, bag slung over his shoulder. His computer hasn’t been turned on, and the thumbs up he’s shooting Namjoon does not fill Namjoon with the positive vibes he wishes it would.

“Where are you going?” Namjoon asks, not bothering to try stopping Seokjin from leaving. It’s not worth the battle, especially when Namjoon is prone to losing, so he goes ahead and prepares himself to write up twice as much.

“Oh, just a quick appointment before we leave,” Seokjin explains. “Hopefully it shouldn’t be too long, but I’ll be meeting you at the airport. Our flight leaves at nine, right?”

Namjoon tries not to sigh, and fails. “Eight. Our flight is at eight.”

Seokjin nods. “Alright, eight. I should definitely still make it on time.”

 

+++

 

It’s half past seven, and Seokjin still hasn’t even called Namjoon to tell him he’s going to be late. Not that it’d do much good at this point; the plane is only minutes from beginning to board, the only reason it hasn’t yet is the flight being delayed to begin with. 

However, it’s nothing new, which is why Namjoon isn’t concerned at all. He’s not surprised when Seokjin comes practically running through security five minutes later, looking out of breath like he ran the entire way there.

Namjoon is surprised by the fact that Seokjin’s tousled hair looks a lot different than it did when they left the office earlier that day: long dark locks traded for short blond hair. The front of his bangs flop just slightly in front of Seokjin’s eyes, and Namjoon thinks he should stop thinking.

“Sorry, it took longer for my hair to lift than I expected,” Seokjin explains, pinching a chuck of his hair between his fingers. “Apparently the black hair dye I used to dye it back last time was more of a bitch to remove than I predicted.”

Namjoon thinks Seokjin should consider himself lucky that he doesn’t have enough time to lecture Seokjin on the rules of hair dye. Seokjin’s hair still looks unfairly soft for the amount of chemical damage it was just attacked with, though Namjoon can’t remember the last time Seokjin had bleached hair. For a moment, he misses his own bleached hair, Namjoon’s hair a darker brown ever since he noticed the effects of constantly bleaching his hair had on his hairline. Namjoon thinks it’s unfair that Seokjin doesn’t have to worry about things like going bald; even if Seokjin went bald, Namjoon is convinced that he’d still look amazing.

“Well, don’t just stare! What do you think?”

Seokjin stares at Namjoon with an exaggerated pout, shifting his weight from one foot to the other. Namjoon hadn’t even realized he had been staring, but it’s not every day his partner decides to drastically change his hair color. 

Namjoon tries to find the right words to describe how he feels about how Seokjin looks, but he’s not really sure how he feels himself so he settles on, “You look like you,” which means he looks incredibly handsome and Namjoon’s mind can’t get any farther than that. It’s almost frustrating, the tug at his gut whenever he tries to think about it, and he tries to distract himself from the feeling by adding on, “and I can’t believe you almost missed our flight. Again.

Usually Seokjin reacts to Namjoon’s scolding with a dramatic eye roll, or maybe with his loud, squeaky laughter that usually ends with Seokjin making fun of Namjoon for being too serious. However, Seokjin’s pout changes into a more neutral expression, and before Namjoon has time to question it, Seokjin excuses himself to make a call before they board the plane.

Except a minute later they’re calling Namjoon and Seokjin’s section to board, and not only would Namjoon prefer for Seokjin to actually be on the flight, somehow Seokjin had picked up Namjoon’s carryon bag - which would’ve been a lot more sweet of an action if Seokjin hadn’t walked off with the bag right before they needed to leave.

It means Namjoon can’t just give into his desires and leave Seokjin behind, so he leaves the boarding area to find Seokjin, who’s walked out of hearing distance so Namjoon can’t just shout at him.

Seokjin has his back turned to Namjoon, too focused on the phone call to hear Namjoon approaching him. Namjoon doesn’t mean to eavesdrop, but Seokjin is whispering a lot louder than he probably thinks he is, and Namjoon recognizes that he’s on the phone with Jimin.

“Jimin, I don’t think this is going to work,” Seokjin whines. With his haircut, Namjoon can easily see the red tips of his ears. “I mean, of course I’m fine about it, but Namjoon? He can barely stand me sometimes, much less act like he’s married to me .”

It’s like a punch to the gut. Namjoon knows he’s not as good at going undercover as Seokjin, and he can admit that someone like Taehyung or Jimin is probably more suited for the job. But he also thinks it’d be nice if his partner believed in him a little more to do his job right. Namjoon is a little hurt, a little frustrated, and a lot lost on how he’s supposed to convince Seokjin that he can do his job and that their undercover mission is going to work.

“I’m telling you Jimin, I-”

Seokjin doesn’t get to finish the sentence; Namjoon grabs him by the shoulder to turn him so they’re facing each other, and Seokjin doesn’t even have time to look shocked before Namjoon leans in.

And kisses him.

In the background, Namjoon can hear Jimin telling Seokjin that he can’t hear him, but it’s not an issue for long when Seokjin drops his phone to the ground, completely still as Namjoon presses his lips to Seokjin’s. It’s nothing crazy, just lips pressed against lips, Namjoon placing his hands on Seokjin’s shoulders just to pull away. 

“I need you to trust in me, hyung,” Namjoon whispers, trying to ignore the shocked expression Seokjin wears and the memory of Seokjin’s soft lips pressed against his. “I know I’m not as good as Taehyung at going undercover, but I really need you to trust me to do my job.”

“Your job,” Seokjin finally says, just a faint echo of Namjoon’s words. His hand reaches up to his mouth, and at first Namjoon’s convinced he’s going to wipe his mouth; but Seokjin just gently traces his own lips.

There’s no more said on it, not when Namjoon can hear them calling for boarding again, and he grabs Seokjin by the wrist and quickly tugs him along, only stopping to let Seokjin pick up his phone. The flight attendant directing people onto the plane gives them a dirty look for not boarding with their assigned group, and Namjoon apologizes for both of them, Seokjin still on the silent side.

It’s not until they’re seated and Seokjin is still quiet that Namjoon realizes that he messed up.

“Sorry,” Namjoon murmurs, unable to look over at Seokjin. His lips still tingle, and when he licks his lips he can taste Seokjin’s lip balm on them. “I should’ve asked first.”

“No, it’s fine,” Seokjin mumbles, the hesitancy in his voice and the loud chatter of the other passengers colliding, making the conversation feel much too private for such a public space. “I should be the one apologizing, I’m sorry it sounded like I didn’t trust you. It’s not you, really, it’s just…” Seokjin sighs, burying his head in his hands. “It’s just more of a me issue and-”

“That’s not the point,” Namjoon insists, “I should’ve-”

“Namjoon-ah, I told you not to worry about it, didn’t I?” Seokjin’s voice is a lot brighter than it was a moment ago, and Namjoon’s not dumb enough to miss the fact that he’s definitely faking the sudden mood change, but it’s hard to protest when Seokjin places a hand on his thigh and squeezes gently.

“You can’t really worry about things like that anymore.” Seokjin laughs, though it sounds a little sad. “Afterall, we are kind of married now.”

Even though Namjoon nods, he’s most definitely worrying about Things Like That. So even hours of flying later, with the weight of Seokjin leaning against his shoulder, the feel of Seokjin’s lips still fresh in Namjoon’s mind, Seokjin’s words echo in Namjoon’s mind.

We are kind of married now .

Namjoon has a feeling it’s not going to be the last time he tastes Seokjin’s lip balm.

Chapter Text

“Alright, you’re all checked in,” the hotel receptionist informs Namjoon and Seokjin, handing Namjoon a set of card keys. “You’ll be in room fifty-seven, third floor. A bellhop will escort you and your luggage up to your room.”

The keys only stay in Namjoon’s hand for a quick second, one of the keys snatched away by Seokjin before Namjoon can even blink. He glares at Seokjin who gives him a pointed glare right back, hooking his arm around Namjoon’s with a light squeeze. Oh. That’s right. Namjoon’s never been married, and he doesn’t know that many married people outside of family, but he’s pretty sure arguing with your spouse isn’t too uncommon. If Namjoon was actually married to Seokjin (thankfully that’s not a situation Namjoon hopes to find himself in ever) he’s pretty sure their typical bickering would still occur even with the whole ‘being in love’ thing. But apparently Seokjin has other ideas. Maybe he has a more idealistic image of what their marriage would look like (real or not).

Namjoon exchanges his glare for a smile, and discreetly steps on Seokjin’s foot.

“You said you wanted to check out the lounge once we got here, remember?” Seokjin smiles so sweetly at Namjoon that Namjoon almost falls for it and thinks he actually did say anything like that, but there’s a twinkle of mischievousness in Seokjin’s eyes that snaps Namjoon out of it. The entire flight over had consisted of Seokjin elbowing Namjoon in his sleep, and the taxi ride over to the hotel hadn’t been much better; nowhere before arriving at the hotel had there been any discussion of Namjoon wanting to do anything but go to sleep in an actual bed.

If the receptionist wasn’t staring so intently at them, Namjoon would’ve had sharper words to argue back with, but because they are, Namjoon settles for a nod. “You aren’t going to join me? I’ll be awfully lonely without you.” He makes sure the second part sounds as sickenly sweet out loud as it did in his head, and judging by the way Seokjin swats at his arm, it probably did.

“Don’t be silly, I need to take a shower,” Seokjin says, and Namjoon groans because he’s one-hundred percent sure this is Seokjin’s way of getting out of the work of investigating the hotel. The groan is half Namjoon’s frustration with Seokjin for being so sly, and half frustration at himself for not thinking of the idea first. 

Namjoon opens his mouth to speak even though he doesn’t have any idea of what he’s actually going to say, but Seokjin beats him to it, leaning over with one hand placed on Namjoon’s chest. He whispers (definitely not quietly enough that the receptionist can’t hear him), “Though I can wait if you want to join me.”

Seokjin pulls away with a wink, and that’s the end of that. The receptionist gives the two of them a strange look, a mix between curiosity and embarrassment, and even though it’s all Seokjin’s fault Namjoon is the one who’s somehow put in charge of apologizing while Seokjin happily heads towards the hotel room with the bellhop accompanying him.

The receptionist is kind enough to hand a pamphlet containing the schedule for the week that includes a list of the hotel's amenities. There’s a pool and hot tub that Namjoon wonders if he could drown Seokjin in. Or maybe he could just use the bath in their hotel room, maybe a sneak attack on Seokjin while he’s in the bath and-

Namjoon flips the page in the pamphlet so hard that the bottom of it rips a little.

Even before arriving, Namjoon had some vague idea of what the hotel stay was going to be like with a quick look at the hotel’s calendar online; the whole week is an event hosted by the winery closeby, the week filled with small activities and parties to celebrate the 50th year anniversary of the winery. Seokjin had shouted in delight when he found out, and Namjoon had promptly packed what felt like a whole pharmacy of painkillers to deal with all the hangovers he knows he (and Seokjin, who whines like a five-year old when he’s hungover) will have to deal with.

However, the pamphlet gives more information than the website does, so Namjoon takes a moment to look it over. Most of the planned activities are normal, wine-tasting events, which Namjoon takes note to look up proper wine-tasting etiquette tonight (which he internally groans about because that’s another hour of sleep he’s not getting).

There’s other types of activities though, a lot of them food based (Namjoon grins when he thinks about how Seokjin is going to react when he tells him; there’s something especially addicting about Seokjin’s smile when it comes to food). It’s when he gets to the activities that sound like a lot of dancing that Namjoon decides that he’s looked long enough. Just another thing he has to ask the internet how to do, just another thing that reminds him that they’re attending an event surrounded by couples and somehow Seokjin and Namjoon are supposed to fit in and somehow figure out who the two gun dealers were trying to sell to.

Namjoon sighs and stuffs the pamphlet in his pocket. He had been wandering the lounge aimlessly, strangely busy for the late of the night. Most of the couples moseying the bar are younger, maybe not that much older than Namjoon, but a few people catch Namjoon off guard, their wrinkles suggesting they could be around the age of Namjoon’s grandparents.

It’s too crowded inside for him to risk taking a phone call, Namjoon decides, and he makes his way towards the outdoor patio. The metal handle of the door is cold to the touch, and when he steps outside, the late spring night still brings chill to his skin. His jacket he was wearing on the plane mysteriously disappeared between the time he took it off to use it as a pillow and now, and he has a sneaking suspicion it’s been added to Seokjin’s collection of Namjoon’s clothes. One day he’ll need to actually reclaim his closet, but for now he wallows in the confused emotion that overtakes him when he thinks of Seokjin taking his clothes.

When he takes a seat on one of the cushioned chairs outside - Namjoon’s the only one silly enough to be sitting outside so late at night on such a cold night - he’s almost able to forget that he’s working. He stares through the window that leads back inside, watching the lingering hotel guests who mingle with glasses of wine in their hands in the dim lights; crime is the last thing on Namjoon’s mind.

It’s the last thing on his mind, yet he can only enjoy the cool of the night for so long when his phone rings, and Namjoon knows the call he’s been putting off is finally here. He pulls his phone from out of his pocket and answers with a simple, “Hey.”

“I told you to call once you guys landed,” Yoongi grumbles. He sounds more alert than someone so late at night should - or maybe it’s just the heaviness of Namjoon’s eyelids telling him that. “I’m assuming you arrived at the hotel safely?”

“Yeah, we checked in without problem.” Namjoon tries not to say too much with the offhand chance that someone could overhear him. “Hyung is probably taking a bath right now, so at least one of us is doing alright.” 

Yoongi snorts. “Of course he is. I wish I could tell you to enjoy yourself as well, but almost no one is pulling any new information at the moment so I need you to be alert. I’ve had people trying to track the phone numbers we found on the burner phone all day, but like we expected, they all traced back to more burner phones. Now we’re trying to get a hit on where they were bought and checking if a credit card was used, but so far it’s come up dry.”

“Great,” Namjoon grumbles, running a hand through his hair. “Well, we still have the phone on us, so we’ll let you know if anyone tries to call. No one seemed to notice us when we arrived, but I’m hoping we’ll have better luck tomorrow.” It’s a bit of a long shot hoping someone will just approach Namjoon and Seokjin, but as long as none of the buyers haven’t met or seen the gun-dealing couple in person, then it’s also not too long of a shot for them to assume that Seokjin and Namjoon - the only same-sex couple present at the event, probably - are the couple that they’re looking for.

“I’m hoping so too,” Yoongi says, letting out a sigh that sounds as tired as Namjoon feels. When he leans back in the seat, he closes his eyes and imagines falling asleep where he is.

He doesn’t fall asleep though, especially when there’s sudden chatter in the background of the call, and Namjoon can hear Yoongi complaining about something , and when Namjoon finally recognizes the other voice on the call - a voice much too cheery for it being so late at night - he stifles his laugh until Hoseok properly steals the phone from Yoongi’s grasp, the sound of the phone hitting the floor only present once as they grapple for the phone.

“Namjoon!” Hoseok shouts, but Namjoon can’t even complain about the voice being too loud in his ear, much more focused on trying not to laugh too hard as he hears Yoongi grumble complaints in the background. “How’s it going so far?”

“We just arrived,” Namjoon says, deciding it’s not the time to rat on Seokjin for abandoning him. Mostly because Hoseok has a sweet spot for Seokjin (like everyone else in the office besides Namjoon does) and tends to lean in Seokjin’s favor of everything. “Nothing too exciting yet.”

“Boring,” Hoseok whines. “Though, I suppose that’s a good thing, being boring in this case. I got a match on the bullet wound on the victims, and I was able to identify the kill style based on the arrangement of the shots.”

“Isn’t that a good thing? One step closer to identifying the murderer, right?”

“Maybe if it didn’t lead back to a known hitman in the databases,” Hoseok says. “Of course, there’s no way to verify the fact, but it’s someone who’s known for taking hits in the area.”

“I’ve already got a team trying to track them down,” Yoongi butts in from the background. There’s some more shuffling on their side of the line, a repeated, “give me my phone back!”, and finally Yoongi returns to the line, voice clear enough to hear the seriousness of his tone. “But Namjoon, this guy is a professional with almost no data on him. He knows what he’s doing. You know what that means, right?” It doesn’t have to be spoken aloud; whoever hired the hitman is going to be pretty upset when the people they hired him to kill show up alive.

“Watch out, Namjoon,” Yoongi warns. “Chances are, they’ll tell the killer to come back and do his job.  And I can’t imagine them not making sure they do their job right this time.”

 

+++

 

Namjoon is on his third attempt to open the door with the card (the lock keeps flashing red at him and if he had his weapon on him he’d be extremely tempted to go ahead and shoot it) when the door opens from the inside and he stumbles in.

“Thanks hyung,” Namjoon says sheepishly as he closes the door behind him. Seokjin’s already walking away from the door back towards the bed. The sheets are already disheveled where Seokjin must’ve crawled into bed, and the book and turned-on lamp on the bed stand next to Seokjin’s side of the bed suggests that Seokjin had been enjoying a good read before Namjoon showed up. “Were you waiting up for me?” Namjoon doesn’t see why Seokjin would bother, considering they usually have split rooms when they go on business trips and it’s not like they ever wait for each other then. But judging by how sleepy Seokjin was when they arrived, Namjoon thought Seokjin would’ve quickly fallen asleep; a warm feeling settles in his tummy when he thinks about Seokjin pushing through said sleepiness to wait for Namjoon to get back.

“No,” Seokjin answers quickly. He’s still not facing Namjoon, but the tips of his ears betray him. Namjoon can’t help but grin, though he’s not sure why. He lets the subject drop, not wanting to spend too much time on the topic when every minute spent uselessly talking is another minute before he can get in the shower and go to bed.

“Oh, hyung, Yoongi called,” Namjoon says, deciding it’s best to share the news before he falls asleep and forgets half of it. “He said that-”

Namjoon’s cut off when Seokjin turns around and steps towards him and Namjoon is barely forming the sentence to ask him what he’s up to when Seokjin has his hands on both sides of Namjoon’s face and is pushing him until his back hits the wall. One of Seokjin’s hands sneaks up into Namjoon’s hair, and their foreheads bump a moment later and Namjoon barely has the time to register that Seokjin’s shampoo isn’t the same scent that it usually is (though it’s still strangely familiar) when Seokjin says, “You left me all alone in this hotel room only to come back and talk about another man?”

Namjoon considers himself a man of logic, trusting himself to process a scene with the evidence presented to him: Seokjin’s ruffled, slightly damp hair. His skin is still flushed from the shower, assumedly. There’s the part where Namjoon looks further down to confirm that Seokjin isn’t wearing any pants, just a pair of cartoon-themed boxers that send Namjoon looking straight back up. The conclusion Namjoon comes to isn’t safe at all, mind wandering only to be drawn back in by the intense grip Seokjin has on him, the feeling of Seokjin’s hands like fire against his skin. 

The final piece of evidence is what helps Namjoon figure out what’s going on, and it’s the subtle movement of Seokjin’s hot breath hitting his cheek to hitting his ear and the words, “The room is bugged, maybe a camera,” being whispered.

Oh. Oh . Though Namjoon can barely focus on anything outside the subtle softness of Seokjin’s lips pressed against his ear, he can focus enough to think that he’s an absolute fool. It should’ve occurred to him that a room that belonged to two arms dealers would’ve been bugged by someone , especially when foul play has already been established in the case. It’s not something he’d usually miss, and Namjoon’s a little concerned that his head is already out of it so early in the game. There’s other things to blame besides himself he figures. Is it to do with the fact Yoongi just reminded him that there’s a high chance that Namjoon and Seokjin have giant targets on their backs? Or maybe it’s just the fact that he had to struggle so long with getting the hotel lock to actually open. Definitely nothing to do with the fact that Seokjin’s not wearing any pants and is wearing an old oversized t-shirt that suspiciously looks like the one Namjoon packed for himself (though maybe the tightness in his chest from the frustration of seeing his stuff being stolen could be a decent reason as well).

Namjoon relaxes as Seokjin uses his grip on Namjoon to adjust his neck so he’s facing the TV set that’s a few feet in front of the bed. “Right behind the screen, only found it because I couldn’t find the remote and was looking for the damn on button,” Seokjin explains in a hushed voice, still impossibly close. “I already texted Jimin, he should be here tomorrow to help clean the room.”

Namjoon hums, careful not to make any comment about the situation in concern of the bug catching their words. There’s a much bigger concern now, which is properly pretending to be married to Seokjin until Jimin shows up tomorrow to deal with any other bugs that could be in the room. His lips form a tight line, biting back the groan he wants to release as he puts his hands on Seokjin’s waist and gently pulls him away. Seokjin only looks at him with wide eyes for a quick second, only until Namjoon hooks one finger underneath the hem of the shirt Seokjin’s wearing. Any ounce of surprise Seokjin wore turns into smugness, cocking his brow like he’s been waiting all night for Namjoon to mention the shirt.

“That’s my shirt,” Namjoon says, tugging at the shirt. It’s not a special shirt, definitely not anything Namjoon would truly miss once it joins Seokjin’s collection of his clothes. Just a plain white T-shirt that hangs loosely on Seokjin everywhere except his shoulders. It’s fascinating how Seokjin still looks devastatingly handsome.

“Oh?” Seokjin grins. Raises a brow. “Do you have a problem with me wearing your clothes?”

Seokjin’s a good actor; Namjoon can’t deny that. He leans in as he speaks, putting his face right in front of Namjoon’s with his lips slightly parted. Namjoon believes if he blinks a few times, he could almost be convinced that they’re actually a couple in love, playfully teasing each other late at night in an intimate way that Namjoon’s spent too many years single to even remember what it feels like. Something like this, he vaguely thinks, head a little fuzzy and cheeks a little red, feeling like a blanket has been thrown over him and Namjoon feels warm.

Namjoon knows the blanket isn’t real, probably something that resulted from years of feeling lonely and cold. But he likes the blanket, likes how the blanket makes him feel, so he lets the heat of the blanket settle over his shoulders. He powers through the thought of letting Seokjin be the one to guide him through the mission, refuses to let Seokjin do all the work and make him feel like an inexperienced fool. 

Namjoon takes a step forward - not a big one, because there’s not much space between them to begin with. Just close enough so Namjoon can easily hook his finger around the collar of Seokjin’s shirt, tugging at it without daring to look down.

“I have a problem with you wearing any clothes, hyung.”

Under the warmth of the blanket, the words seemed acceptable, maybe even applaudable, but then Namjoon gets to watch in real time as Seokjin’s entire face turns bright red, lips forming an ‘o’ and suddenly the blanket is gone, the warmth only remaining in the heat of Namjoon’s cheeks.

Namjoon lets go of Seokjin, backing away abruptly. “Uh, I’m gonna go take a shower now, if that’s alright?” Seokjin faintly nods, still bright red, but that’s enough for Namjoon to eject himself from the room in the fastest way possible, almost tripping over his feet to escape to the bathroom.

Cranking the temperature to as low is it can go, Namjoon exits the shower ten minutes later feeling chilled to the bone, but his head feels clearer (and in general, rather empty) so he feels comfortable going back to the bed once he throws on a pair of sweats and with a snort, one of Seokjin’s t-shirts that he randomly pulls from his suitcase and prays it isn’t secretly too expensive to be wearing as a pajamas shirt.

Seokjin’s already under the covers, bedside lamp on with the room light off. He’s reading a book, glasses perched on his nose and lips pursed, the furrow of his brow suggesting he’s far too invested in whatever scene in the novel he’s reading to notice Namjoon’s presence. But as soon as Namjoon feels the bed dip underneath him as he places a knee down on the mattress, Seokjin puts his book down and greets Namjoon with a soft smile that ends with a yawn.

“You were in there for awhile,” Seokjin comments with a raised eyebrow. “I hope you weren’t getting yourself off in the shower.” Namjoon turns bright red, and it’s only worse when Seokjin adds on in a low voice, “You should’ve at least told me beforehand, I could’ve joined you and helped out.”

The way Seokjin intently stares at Namjoon makes him feel hot despite the freezing shower he just took and the fact he was shivering just moments earlier. Seokjin’s gaze drops briefly down to the shirt Namjoon stole, eyes widening a fraction before returning to meet Namjoon’s eyes. His gaze is prodding, searching for an answer where Namjoon doesn’t even know what the question is, so he just stares back at Seokjin while trying to refrain from blushing any more for the night (the rate he’s going at can’t be healthy, Namjoon thinks).

It apparently doesn’t work, trying to act not completely flustered, because Seokjin bursts into laughter after another moment of examining Namjoon’s face. In a swift movement, Seokjin pushes Namjoon down onto the bed, leans over, and bites Namjoon’s ear; not in a sexy way, but in the same way Seokjin eats his snacks in the office.

Namjoon shrieks, though he can’t do much before Seokjin rolls off of him and lays on his side, still facing Namjoon. He wears a smug grin. “You caught me off guard earlier, but don’t start thinking you can beat hyung so easily.”

Namjoon doesn’t realize the challenge to Seokjin’s words until Seokjin has already rolled over so his back is facing Namjoon and the conversation is forced to end. Not that Namjoon had any retort ready to go, but he’s still a little disappointed that the conversation is closed so quickly. At least that means he can finally go to sleep now, he tells himself.

Except a few hours later Namjoon wakes up shivering and he doesn’t even have to open his eyes to notice that there’s not a single blanket on him despite the fact that he went to sleep perfectly covered. He doesn’t really need to open his eyes to guess where the blankets went, but he does anyway, not a bit surprised when he sees Seokjin on the other end of the bed completely wrapped up in all the blankets.

If Namjoon wasn’t so cold and it wasn’t around two in the morning, he might’ve been a little nicer about the ordeal. But he’s cold, tired, and wanting to go back to sleep so he ruthlessly kicks Seokjin, not even waiting until Seokjin properly awakes before he starts tugging at the blankets.

“Hey!” Seokjin whines when he’s finally conscious enough to realize that Namjoon’s trying to steal the blankets from him. While Namjoon’s blanket recovery had been going successfully, now that Seokjin’s actually awake it becomes a lot harder, Seokjin gripping hard on the sheets that Namjoon’s trying to tug away.

“I’m cold!” Namjoon complains, voice slightly strained as he tries to put more energy into recovering the blankets. He’s sure he could find extra blankets in the closet, or maybe he could just put on warmer pajamas, but it’s past the point of trying to be warm and already all about winning against Seokjin.

“It’s mine ,” Seokjin insists. He tries rolling himself back up in the blankets, becoming a human burrito and it’s almost cute enough for Namjoon to give up on his mission. But he doesn’t, continuing to tug at the blankets while Seokjin keeps whining about it. The advantage Namjoon has is that he’s much more awake than Seokjin, and it’s that slight bit more alertness that he has that allows him to get a firm tug at the blankets while Seokjin’s trying to desperately rewrap himself (they might both be laughing at this point, but with no witness around to prove so Namjoon decides he’ll claim he was very serious about getting his victory of the blankets).

The blankets finally slide over to Namjoon’s side of the bed, but before Namjoon can celebrate his victory a much larger problem comes tumbling at him - quite literally - as the blankets he’s tugged over to his side also bring along the person that was wrapped up in said blankets, and that’s how Seokjin comes crashing down on top of Namjoon with an audible thud.

“Namjoon-ah, I was trying to sleep,” Seokjin whines, flailing his arms as Namjoon successfully covers himself with the blankets. With Seokjin laying on top of him, head resting on top of Namjoon’s chest, it means Seokjin becomes lost underneath the blankets and Namjoon can’t help but laugh when Seokjin wiggles around so that his head peeks out from underneath the covers. “ Namjoon-ah .”

Seokjin’s heavy, and the combination of the blankets and Seokjin’s body heat makes it almost too warm for Namjoon. He knows Seokjin is prone to moving around in his sleep. There’s almost nothing comfortable about the way Seokjin has settled himself on top of Namjoon, hair brushing against Namjoon’s cheek, legs tangled with Namjoon’s.

Namjoon can’t find it within him to push Seokjin off.

“Just go to sleep, hyung,” Namjoon finally says, grabbing Seokjin from underneath his arms and pulling him upward so he doesn’t drown underneath the blanket. Namjoon wraps an arm around Seokjin’s waist so he doesn’t move around as much, and tries not to think too much about how quickly Seokjin accepts his fate and buries his face into the crook of Namjoon’s neck. 

It shouldn’t be easy to fall asleep, yet it is. Seokjin snuggles underneath the blanket, mumbling a quiet, “mine,” with a small smile which makes Namjoon wonder if he really won at all, falling into some sort of tie that leaves Seokjin still satisfied and warm underneath the blankets.

Namjoon falls asleep a minute later, warm with a sense of satisfaction as he pulls Seokjin even closer, and decides right before he gives into sleep that even if he didn’t win, he certainly didn’t lose.

 

+++

 

The warm position Namjoon wakes up in has less to do with the amount of body heat shoved under a large amount of blankets and more to do with the actual anatomy of the position.

It’s definitely not the way they fell asleep - though now that Namjoon’s awake that’s an entirely different embarrassing memory. They’ve drifted to their sides at some point while sleeping, but Namjoon’s grip on Seokjin’s waist hasn’t gone anywhere, pulling Seokjin snug against him so that Seokjin’s back presses against his chest. The arm around Seokjin’s waist has gone slightly numb from Seokjin laying on top of it, but Namjoon can’t find it in him to mind. His other arm is draped over Seokjin, hand resting on top of Seokjin’s chest. Seokjin’s hand rests on top of his, securing it in its place, and Namjoon can’t help but notice how fast Seokjin’s heartbeat is underneath his hand.

“Hyung?” Namjoon assumed since Seokjin hadn’t moved from their compromising position that he was still asleep, but the subtle twitch of his eyelid when Namjoon calls out his name suggests differently. “Hyung, are you awake?”

Seokjin doesn’t respond, but Namjoon can easily see that Seokjin’s breathing rate isn’t consistent enough to follow typical sleeping breathing patterns, his breathing not shallow like it would be if he was actually asleep. For fake sleeping, it’s a decent attempt, but it isn’t perfect and Namjoon stares at Seokjin for another moment to see if he’ll answer back.

He doesn’t, leaving Namjoon a little confused, but it’s also too early in the morning to question it. Maybe he’s just sleepy and wanting to get some extra sleep without moving and bothering Namjoon. Or maybe he woke up the same time Namjoon did and he felt too guilty shoving Namjoon off of him.

The thought train just makes Namjoon feel bad, and he quickly detangles himself from Seokjin so he doesn’t bother him anymore. He makes sure to tuck the covers back in once he gets out of the bed, making sure the blankets properly cover Seokjin before backing away with a satisfied nod.

It’s the latest Namjoon’s slept in for a long time, the clock reading nine when he looks at it. He knows the breakfast bar downstairs doesn’t close until half past nine, so he’s not too stressed about time. So he decides to not wake Seokjin, instead opting to change out of his pajamas into presentable clothes.

It’s only when he goes to turn on the TV that Namjoon remembers the bug behind it, and more importantly, he remembers that at some point Jimin is supposed to come around to clear the room for them. 

“Hyung,” Namjoon calls out regretfully, feeling bad about waking up Seokjin; though he’s not sure if Seokjin really fell back asleep judging by how quickly he wakes up, turning in bed so he faces Namjoon.

“What?”

Namjoon considers his words. “What time will the cleaning person be here?”

“Cleaning person? I put the do-not-disturb sign on the door so hopefully never,” Seokjin says, obviously not getting the memo. It takes a pointed look from Namjoon for Seokjin to burst out, “Oh!” And then he’s scrambling for his cellphone, almost knocking it off the nightstand where it’s charging. “I think they were supposed to show up,” he glances at the time on his phone, “an hour ago. Whoops.”

“Hyung!”

“I’m calling them now!”

Twenty minutes later there’s a knock on the door, and Jimin lets himself in.

“Oh, I must’ve missed the do-not-disturb sign,” Jimin announces upon arrival. He’s dressed up in the hotel uniform, and despite his act of sounding shocked to see Namjoon and Seokjin there, he doesn’t leave the room. Instead, he wheels the cleaning cart he brought with him to the side and asks, “Would you like me to come back at another time?”

Seokjin quickly answers, “No, it’s fine now, we were just about to leave.” He crawls out of bed, passing by Namjoon as he heads to the bathroom, presumably to change. 

While Jimin starts pulling at the covers to make the bed, Namjoon spies as he subtly pulls a small device out of his pocket. There’s a flip of a switch on the side, and the room is suddenly filled with a high pitched ring, though barely noticeable unless Namjoon strains to listen. Seokjin seems to notice as well, exiting the bathroom with raised brows directed towards Jimin.

“You're free to talk and do whatever when the device is on,” Jimin explains, ditching the sheets in his hands to wave the small device in his hand, no bigger than a phone. “It’ll block the outgoing signal of any bug or camera in the room.”

“Is there one that doesn’t ring like that? Am I really expected to listen to that when I go to sleep?” Seokjin glares at the device in Jimin’s hands, holding his hand out so Jimin can hand it over to him. Namjoon quietly laughs over how much smaller the device looks in Seokjin’s hands compared to Jimin’s.

“Well, you’re not going to have it on all the time, so it should be fine,” Jimin says, holding a hand up when Seokjin starts to protest. “First of all, we don’t want to alert whoever planted the bug that we know it’s there. The less we block their signal, the more likely they are to believe it’s just minor technical difficulties and not worry about the bug being discovered or planting a new bug. Second of all, the device works well, but it’s not very specified. That means it’s going to block any outgoing signals, which includes your guys’ phones and any bugs or cameras we end up putting in here.”

“Damn, a camera? If you wanted to watch me sleep, you could’ve just said so,” Seokjin jokes, wiggling his body in a way that’s anything but suggestive.

Jimin grins. “Save it for Namjoon, hyung.”

A pillow flies Jimin’s direction the next second.

“My freshly made bed!” Jimin protests, words ending with giggles that have him bending over. The giggles are contagious enough that Seokjin joins in, his squeaky laughter something that even Namjoon can’t help but smile at.

“Anyway, it’s gonna take me a little bit to check the room for any bugs. Hopefully whatever I find I’ll be able to trace the signal back and see who put it there. Taehyung is already checking security cameras and comparing it to when the electronic lock last registered someone opening the door before you guys.” Jimin narrows his eyes, “That’s what we’ve been dealing with while you guys have cuddle time in a luxury hotel room.”

“There was no cuddle time!” Seokjin quickly protests, waving his hands around wildly.

Jimin rolls his eyes. “Ah, sure there wasn’t, the blankets weren’t totally pooled on one side of the bed. And don’t think I forgot about the fact that you guys totally forgot about me this morning.”

Namjoon explains to Jimin that it was actually only Seokjin who forgot, and he gets a pillow thrown at him as well.

A few pillows thrown back and forth later, the TV almost lost it’s life and Seokjin huffs that he’s hungry and he can’t focus (which is his justification for completely missing Jimin three times with the pillows while Jimin got in two full-on face hits on Seokjin) and that he needs to eat. Namjoon finds it hard to protest when he’s feeling just as hungry, so he allows Seokjin to grab him by the hand and drag him out the front door, only getting to briefly wave goodbye to Jimin who only responds by taking a look at Seokjin and Namjoon’s intertwined hands and grinning.

“Wait, I almost forgot,” Namjoon says once they get in the elevator (Namjoon had tried to insist it’s healthier to take the stairs, to which Seokjin retorted that it was way too early in the morning to be putting in that kind of effort). “I wanted to tell you-” Namjoon blanks for a moment on the best way to deliver the news, unsure of how much the camera posed in the corner of the elevator can pick up.

He uses the hand that’s holding onto Seokjin’s to spin him around, using his other hand to push Seokjin against the wall. Namjoon then lets go and brings both of his hands to Seokjin’s face, bringing their faces close together.

“I wanted to tell you how beautiful you look today, even though you keep stealing my sweaters and I’m ready to go crazy,” Namjoon whispers, “and, uh, also, Yoongi called yesterday and said that the person who killed our couple was a hired hitman who could potentially be trying to kill us now?”

“First of all, I keep stealing your sweaters for that exact reason, second of all, really? You couldn’t have told me this earlier?

Namjoon thinks back to when he did try to tell Seokjin, and all his memory gives him in Seokjin pushing him into the wall and the feeling of Seokjin’s breath on his ear and suddenly the message from Yoongi had left his head without another thought.

Namjoon shrugs. “I might’ve been a little distracted.”

Seokjin sighs. “Well, you know how I love a little extra excitement.” He pulls away from Namjoon’s grip, but he doesn’t completely leave Namjoon’s personal space, still leaning over so that his head rests on Namjoon's shoulder. Just in time for the elevator to ding, and doors opening up to the first floor.

“Let’s go, babe,” Seokjin says, confidently grabbing Namjoon’s hand. A few people who are standing near the elevators give the two of them strange looks, but that’s good, Namjoon supposes. The more people that see them, the more likely whoever was trying to make bids confronts them about it. Seokjin looks relaxed, but when he notices Namjoon lagging behind he firmly squeezes Namjoon’s hand, and the reassuring smile he shoots Namjoon’s direction hints that Namjoon probably doesn’t look as relaxed as he should.

Without thinking too hard about how the wedding ring on Seokjin’s hand feels, Namjoon straightens his posture, tries to return Seokjin’s smile in the most loving form he can, and as they head down to the dining hall where the other guests are certain to be, he reminds himself that their mission is just beginning.

Chapter Text

“You know, I expected it to smell like old people.”

Namjoon tries to not look too thrown off when Seokjin finally looks up from his breakfast and announces the thought, catching Namjoon in the act of staring intently at Seokjin’s face. Namjoon hadn’t even realized he had been staring, the remaining food on his plate abandoned and mushed by his fork that he’s been aimlessly stabbing at his plate with, much more focused on the man sitting across from him. It’s always fascinated Namjoon, the way Seokjin manages to effortlessly express the happiness he experiences from eating good food on his face, his entire expression brightening.

Seokjin doesn’t say anything about Namjoon’s staring. Maybe he didn’t notice. After all, Seokjin’s probably used to people staring at him all the time. Namjoon’s positive everyone in the dining area has already taken more than a brief glance at Seokjin, and who can blame them? Sometimes Namjoon wonders if it’s really okay that someone as good looking as Seokjin actually exists - even after years of working together, there’s the slightest fraction that the axis of Namjoon’s world tilts when he takes a proper look at Seokjin.

“Are you going to finish eating?” Seokjin gestures at Namjoon’s plate, and Namjoon only sighs before discreetly exchanging the remains of his plate for Seokjin’s empty one, rolling his eyes at Seokjin’s bright smile. Half of his plate was full of Seokjin’s favorites for reasons like this, Namjoon more than familiar and comfortable with Seokjin’s appetite. 

“But seriously, don’t you think the crowd is a little young for an event as exclusive as this one?” Seokjin asks after he swallows, vaguely gesturing to the rest of the crowd. “I mean, the vineyard’s club membership is expensive to begin with, and apparently getting into the event costs another handful. Don’t you have to be old and wrinkly to have that type of money?”

Namjoon hums. Though he already noticed the lower age range of the attendees, Seokjin makes a good point. He only got a glance of the costs for the event, something Taehyung had been showing him before they left. Definitely nothing Namjoon could afford on his salary, nor anything even a slightly above average income could afford.

Namjoon takes another quick glance at the people around him. He’s pretty sure Seokjin and him are the youngest present, but not by much. It’s hard to tell who the people around him are. They all wear similar clothes, all on the side of business casual, and definitely nothing Namjoon would think of wearing on his own vacation time if it wasn’t for the fact that Jimin had thrown some extra clothes into his suitcase, most of his own wardrobe too casual. They all chatter quietly, only occasionally speaking loud enough that Namjoon can get a glimpse of their conversation; most of them are talking about the food.

“They could be doctors,” Namjoon offers. “You know, like we are.” That’s the story they agreed on at least, figuring it could be an easy way to blend in with everyone’s pockets full of money, without having to worry too much about connections. “Or maybe they’re successful business owners. It’s not like it’s impossible to be young and run a successful business.” Namjoon ponders another option, and laughs. “They could be worldwide famous idols, or something like that.”

“Or more likely, they were born with money or play on the other side of the law,” Seokjin replies. “Maybe both.”

Namjoon frowns. “Feels like a lot to insinuate that the majority of the people here aren’t good people.”

Seokjin shrugs. “Maybe. But also, five of these couples are our potential gun buyers. Also, who spends that much money on a winery membership? That’s like, top tier villain characterization.”

Namjoon thinks that Seokjin is being a little ridiculous with his second statement, but he admits that he has a point. There’s not that many couples here, not according to the list Taehyung had sent to his phone. Even though not everyone is present at the dining hall, there’s a good chance at least one of the people casually eating breakfast could be one of the buyers. And if they’re one of their buyers, there’s a good chance they’re also the person who hired the hitman to take the two gun dealers out.

“Speaking of villain characterization, look behind you,” Seokjin says quietly. He doesn’t look past Namjoon at all, smiling at Namjoon with the addition of a soft giggle, placing his hand on top of Namjoon’s as if they’re just laughing over a funny joke.

It almost throws Namjoon off, just for a brief moment, the warmth of Seokjin’s hand on top of his. Almost. But he remembers that more than freaking out over the fact that Seokjin is a much better actor then him, he needs to focus on whatever Seokjin is trying to show him. With a smile on his face to match Seokjin’s, Namjoon flips his hand underneath Seokjin’s so that their palms are facing each other and he manages to awkwardly interlace their hands while purposefully knocking his spoon on the floor.

“Oops,” Namjoon announces, probably not as naturally as he hopes for judging by the way Seokjin snickers, but he turns around in his seat to fetch the spoon off the ground, bending over. On his way back up, he makes sure to take a peek behind him before naturally twisting back up to face Seokjin. It wasn’t that much of a glance, but there’s only the one occupied table behind Namjoon and Seokjin, so it’s hard to miss the couple that Seokjin’s referring to. 

“What about them?” Namjoon tries to digest what he looked at. The couple behind them had definitely been looking at Seokjin and Namjoon. While their hair wasn’t as light as Seokjin’s, it was obviously bleached, creating contrast between their hair and dark clothing. Despite the casual atmosphere on the breakfast, the man was dressed up in a suit and the woman in a long, formal gown. And that’s when it clicks for Namjoon.

“You think he’s armed?” The jacket of the man is definitely big enough to hide anything that could be tucked to his waist, including a gun. Namjoon doesn’t particularly want to find out.

“I’m not sure. Seems a little risky, but I’m thinking it could be part of his lifestyle. Out of the two types of people I mentioned earlier, they’re definitely part of the other side of the law players. Considering that and the fact that they keep looking over at us, I think they’re worthwhile suspects.”

Namjoon nods. “Alright. Do you want me to call Yoongi and tell him to check the footage of the place so he can try to get an ID on them? Might give us a better idea of who we’re dealing with.”

“Yeah, sounds like a good idea. You call Yoongi, and I’m gonna go follow them back to their hotel room, alright?” 

“Oka-” Namjoon freezes when he processes when Seokjin has said, but any words of protest or logic are already useless, Namjoon’s plate wiped clean as Seokjin stands up from the table they're sitting at.

“I’ll see you back at the hotel room,” Seokjin tells Namjoon, blowing a kiss in his direction. It’s not much different than just a few days ago when Seokjin had announced to Namjoon that he wanted to grab the suitcase from the drug dealers back in America, and charged into the situation after sending Namjoon off with a kiss. Last time, it ended with both of them getting shot at and more than lucky to escape unscatched. This time, Namjoon doesn’t have much better of a feeling.

“Wait!” Namjoon grabs onto Seokjin’s wrist, only briefly glancing at the suspicious couple leaving the dining hall, making note of which direction they’re going. “You can’t just follow a potentially armed suspect by yourself!”

Seokjin grins. “Oh, you wanna come with me?” And Namjoon feels like he’s fallen into the same trap he always falls into, and like always, he only groans in protest before following Seokjin, both of them discreetly leaving the dining hall to follow behind the couple.

Seokjin acts like he’s trying to show Namjoon something in the reception area, pointing at some plant and blabbering on how he loves the color of it until the couple goes into the elevators. The doors close with a ding, and Namjoon asks Seokjin, “Okay, what now?” He’s really hoping Seokjin says something around the lines of heading back to the hotel room and contacting someone from the team to check out their suspects.

“Well, there’s only three floors and they’re going up, so either they’re getting out on floor two or three,” Seokjin says. Somehow since the dining hall, Namjoon’s hand still grips onto Seokjin’s wrists, and it makes Seokjin slipping their hands together that much easier, giving a soft squeeze, deceptively gentle before Seokjin is dragging Namjoon towards the stairs.

“This is a horrible idea!” Namjon hisses, though he reluctantly joins Seokjin in the sprint up the stairs to beat the elevator. Luckily, the landing for the stairs is next to the elevators, and Namjoon and Seokjin can quickly check to see if the elevator is coming to a halt. It does, and Namjoon only momentarily feels the joy of not having to run up another flight of stairs before the elevator doors go to open and on instinct, he pulls Seokjin back down the stairs just enough that they’re hidden from anyone exiting the elevator on the second floor.

“You better not be thinking about approaching them,” Namjoon warns Seokjin, glaring at his partner even more intensely when Seokjin grins widely back at him. “I’m serious, hyung. They’re armed, we’re not, and even if we were, the last thing we want to do is start a shootout this early in the investigation.”

“So you’re suggesting that shootouts later in the investigation are acceptable?” Seokjin wiggles his eyebrows, laughing at Namjoon’s sigh. “Okay, fine, no shootouts, no fun, got it. We’re just peacefully following them back to their hotel room so we can figure out where they’re staying to get a hotel room number to share with the team when we need them to look up their identity.”

Namjoon snorts. “Like the time we peacefully observed the drug deal go down back in America?”

Seokjin pouts, not at all serious, using the hand that isn’t intertwined with Namjoon to teasingly poke the furrow of Namjoon’s brow. “Aw, Namjoonie, you’re not afraid of a little gunfire, are you?”

“Yes, and I wish you were too,” Namjoon grumbles, whacking away Seokjin’s hand. The feeling of Seokjin’s fingers pressed against his skin leaves a tingling sensation. “I worry about you, hyung.”

“Oh.” Seokjin drops the teasing smile, opting for a more neutral expression that Namjoon isn’t quite sure what to think of; even after years of working without Seokjin, there’s times where Namjoon can’t get a read on his partner and he thinks those are the times which he finds himself the most frustrated with Seokjin. Not so much that Seokjin needs to share every little feeling he has with Namjoon, but Namjoon thinks it’d be nice if he got to know everything about Seokjin - they are partners after all.

“Ah, they went around the corner, I can’t see them anymore,” Namjoon complains when he pulls his gaze away from Seokjin only to find an empty hallway. “Come on, let’s go ahead and figure out what room number they are so we can get this over with.”

Seokjin shakes out of whatever daze he found himself in, and Namjoon can’t help but notice how empty his hand feels when Seokjin let’s go, choosing to leave Namjoon behind as he starts quietly walking down the hall, footsteps silent. Namjoon chooses not to think about how warm and soft Seokjin’s hand was, and follows Seokjin’s lead.

He wishes the couple they’re following would at least done them a favor and stayed near Namjoon and Seokjin’s own hotel room - at least that way, if they get caught, it doesn’t look totally suspicious for Namjoon to be loitering the halls behind them. But Seokjin and him are up on the third floor, so if the couple chooses at any point to turn around and spot them, it’ll be hard to make up an excuse. 

They get to the end of the hallway so they can peak around the corner the couple disappeared behind. Namjoon let’s Seokjin get a visual on them while Namjoon checks behind them, making sure that no other guests are coming or leaving their hotel rooms at the moment - the last thing they need is some random guest asking what they’re doing.

“Oh, they’ve stopped at a hotel room,” Seokjin whispers. “Room forty-three.” Namjoon has already pulled his phone out, texting Taehyung the information along with the request for him to look it up.

“Wait, they’re not going in.” Namjoon doesn’t have to look over at Seokjin; he can hear the frown in his voice. “I think he just pulled out a cellphone? Oh shit, what if he’s calling the hitman? That would make this so fucking easy -”

They both go dead still when the burner phone in Seokjin’s pocket starts to ring.
“Fuck,” Seokjin curses, pulling the phone out of his pocket. Sure enough, it’s one of the numbers from the phone’s contacts list: this one pops up as Client 3. “Fuck, extra fuck.” His voice is low, but it doesn’t matter too much; Namjoon looks around the corner and can see the confusion written on the couple’s face, hearing the ringtone go off so close by.

Namjoon leans back so they can’t potentially see him - or at least, not until they go to investigate around the corner - and he looks at Seokjin who’s trying to frantically turn down the volume without hanging up the call. Even after he manages to switch it to vibrate, there’s the other issue of them needing to answer the call, because who knows when they’ll get a second one. But it feels too risky, taking the phone call in the middle of the hallway when the couple could be already suspicious that they’re following them, and Seokjin and Namjoon definitely don’t have time to run back to their own hotel room.

So without thinking about it too hard, Namjoon glances at the storage closet just a few steps away, and while Seokjin fidgets with the phone, Namjoon leans back and pulls on the handle. Unlocked. When he looks through the crack of the open door, he can see a lot of towels and linens. Nothing too bulky.

The next second, just as he can hear the couple walking towards them, Namjoon grabs Seokjin by wrapping an arm around his waist and drags them both into the closet, closing the door as gently as possible as they fall back onto the linens.

“Na-” Namjoon slaps a hand over Seokjin’s mouth, quietly shushing him.

“Hurry up and pick up the call, and don’t talk too loudly,” Namjoon whispers. Seokjin looks at him, then glances down at the hand that’s still covering his mouth. Namjoon barely retracts his hand before Seokjin sticks his tongue out and tries to lick him. “ Hyung .”

“Yeah, yeah, got it,” Seokjin says, pressing the answer button on the phone and bringing it close to his ear - if Namjoon wasn’t afraid of being caught in the closet, he’d tell Seokjin to put it on speaker. Instead, he has to settle for arranging their position in the closet. 

Despite the space Namjoon originally thought there to be, it feels like an incredibly tight squeeze as he tries to pull Seokjin farther away from the door, making sure Seokjin’s back is to the door so his voice doesn’t carry as much. There’s not enough room for them to sit side by side, which means Seokjin ends up in Namjoon’s lap, legs spread on either side of Namjoon’s waist. Seokjin places the hand that’s not holding the phone on Namjoon’s arm, hand tensing as Namjoon uses the grip he has around Seokjin’s waist to pull him even closer until their chests are flush and Seokjin’s head is right next to Namjoon’s, Namjoon leaning in towards the phone so he can catch what the other line is saying.

“Rumors said you wouldn’t be showing up,” a deep voice answers, a voice Namjoon assumes belongs to the husband. The voice doesn’t come from just the phone, but even from the depth of the closet, Namjoon can hear the voice coming from outside, hinting the other side of the call is a lot closer than Namjoon wants them to be. Nervously, he pulls Seokjin impossibly closer, less focused in the soft gasp Seokjin lets out and more focused on the items in the closet - is there anything that could be used to defend themselves if it turned into a violent interaction?

Seokjin’s voice is as firm as it can sound at the quiet volume he responds, “And miss out on lovely customers like you? Preposterous.” His voice doesn’t shake, though it’s impossible to not notice how his hand on Namjoon’s arm slides up to gently cup the back of Namjoon’s neck, a few fingers exploring the bottom of Namjoon’s hair. With their chests pressed so tightly together, Namjoon can feel how fast Seokjin’s heart is beating.

“So are you calling to secure your initial bid?” Seokjin prompts when they both realize that the man on the line isn’t eager to speak; maybe he’s hoping the silence will intimidate Seokjin. “Unless you’re calling to tell us you’re dropping out of the auction?” It’s amazing to Namjoon, how nonchalant Seokjin sounds, tone almost teasing - he sounds like a professional, like he’s been dealing guns all his life.

It earns a scoff from the man - a scoff that sounds a lot quieter than the voice had earlier, and when the man responds with a number that’s low enough that Seokjin snorts, Namjoon can confirm that it definitely sounds like the man is walking further away from the closet Seokjin and Namjoon are hidden in, and judging by the way Seokjin relaxes against him, he can tell as well.

While Namjoon pays attention to how close the man sounds from outside the closet, Seokjin continues to barter with the man. It’s around the point where Seokjin is mentioning all the other people interested in their goods that Namjoon gets distracted by the fact that once again, Seokjin doesn’t smell like his usual shampoo. It’s easy enough for Namjoon to slide further than where he has his ear pressed to the cell phone, letting his nose brush against the back of Seokjin’s ear before breathing in the scent of Seokjin’s hair.

“Namjoon?” Seokjin breathes out, grip on Namjoon’s neck increasing as he folds into Namjoon a little more. He pulls the phone away from his mouth before asking, voice suddenly much more strained than it was when he was on the phone with the man, “What are you doing?”

“Did you use the hotel’s shampoo?” It’s definitely not the same sweetpea scent that Namjoon’s used to, and even if Seokjin switched up bottles, he knows he tends to lean towards floral scents. He can’t put his finger on what the new scent is, but it’s a pinch off from floral with more earthy undertones. “What scent is it, anyway?”

Seokjin pulls away from Namjoon, and even though there’s no lights in the closet, the dim screen of the phone lights Seokjin’s face up enough to reveal his blush - or maybe Namjoon’s just seeing things in the bad lighting.

“It’s my shampoo!” Seokjin quickly answers before tugging at his ear and verifying Namjoon’s suspicions that he’s definitely lying. “Let me focus on this call!” 

Seokjin doesn’t lean back in towards Namjoon which means Namjoon is unable to hear the other side of the line for the rest of the call. It’s fine, as he’s able to guess where the conversation is based on Seokjin’s replies alone, and even though he feels a little cold without the warmth of Seokjin pressing against him, it’s nothing he lets his mind think about for too long.

“Do you want in or not?” The bartering has been going on for a few minutes and Seokjin’s brows are furrowed and lips pouted. There’s not much Namjoon can do to help, but he does his best to reassure Seokjin by gently squeezing his leg.

The moment the man accepts Namjoon can tell by the grin that breaks out on Seokjin’s face. Seokjin bounces in Namjoon’s lap out of excitement, though the same excitement is barely present in his voice as he instructs the man that payments will only be accepted in cash, and after bidding ends, he’ll have twenty-four hours to gather the money. Once the first round of bidding is over, the highest bid will be announced and everyone will have the chance to raise their bid if they want to stay in.

Once Seokjin hangs up, he properly looks at Namjoon. “Hey! We did it!”

Namjoon’s grinning too, but he tries his best not to look like it. “That’s one person down. There’s still at least four other people who we need to find.” 

“See, aren’t you glad we followed them?” Seokjin is completely smug, and Namjoon takes the chance to pinch both of Seokjin’s cheeks, laughing when Seokjin whines about it.

“Yeah, I guess it was okay ,” Namjoon admits, even though he thinks it would’ve been a lot easier if they had just gone back to their hotel room and received the call there, then they wouldn't have had to hide in some cramped closet. 

Oh. They’re still in said cramped closet, Namjoon realizes belatedly. He thinks he spent a fair amount of time in the closet, so even though there’s something satisfying about Seokjin pressing down against him, Namjoon gently lifts Seokjin off of his lap so he can stand up, rolling his eyes when Seokjin tries to keep his legs wrapped around Namjoon.

“Come on, let’s go back to our room already,” Namjoon says, opening the door so they can both sneak out. He mumbles a quiet apology to whichever staff member is going to return to the closet to find it a mess before following Seokjin back out into the hallway.

But it turns out they’re not alone in the hallway, both of them freezing when they’re met with one of the hotel staff standing only a few feet away, sending the two of them a suspicious glance that looks a lot like it’s about to be followed with a proper scolding. Namjoon’s just glad the staff member can’t see the mess they left inside the closet.

“Uh, I dropped a coin and it rolled underneath the closet door so we were looking for it,” Namjoon manages. Next to him, Seokjin laughs, not sounding at all upset about being caught. Maybe if Namjoon hadn’t just spewed the worst possible excuse he could’ve come up for the situation, he wouldn’t be that upset either.

“Sirs, I’m going to have to ask you that-”

“Wait!” Seokjin exclaims. “I just remembered that I need to make a super important phone call!” He bows to the hotel staff member. “Sorry for invading your closet, we couldn’t find my husband’s coin, so feel free to keep it if you find it!”

Seokjin turns to Namjoon. “Hey, I’ll race you back to the hotel room.”

“I’m not going to race you -”

Namjoon yelps when Seokjin reaches down and grabs his ass with a firm squeeze, before running off with a shout of, “catch me if you can!” And Namjoon barely gets in an apology to the horrified staff member before running after Seokjin - but they’re definitely not racing.

 

***

 

“I win!”

Namjoon manages to reach the hotel room door just a moment before Seokjin, practically slamming into the door as he barely manages to stop his momentum from running as fast as his legs could carry him. He manages to brace himself against the door with his hands, preventing his face from crashing into the door, though it becomes a close call when less than a second later Seokjin slams into Namjoon from behind, laughter hot against Namjoon’s skin.

“That guy was so pissed,” Seokjin laughs, not doing anything to pull his weight off Namjoon. He eventually peels himself off Namjoon, slipping his hand into Namjoon’s back pocket to snag the key card and let them inside. “And Namjoon-ah, your excuse, absolutely brilliant.” Seokjin laughs. “ I dropped a coin and it rolled underneath the closet door .” He’s not mocking Namjoon, more like a playful shove, which makes Namjoon even more irritated.

“What was I supposed to say?”

Seokjin shrugs. “I dunno, something more exciting. Like, at least tell him we were trying to hook up in the closet or something.”

Namjoon chokes, voice almost cracking. “How is that supposed to be any better?”

Seokjin smirks, obviously pleased with Namjoon’s reaction. “Well, I think picturing us hooking up is a lot hotter than picturing you looking for a fucking coin.” Seokjin pauses, and adds after a second of thought, “though I guess that’s a pretty cute image too.”

Namjoon wants to say something about how there should be no picturing of either image, especially the prior, even if his head has now already wandered off on path into a territory that Namjoon immediately shuts down. However, Seokjin seems to already have moved on the from the conversation, pulling his phone out and talking about a text he wants to show Namjoon, and Namjoon does his best to remember that at the end of the day, Seokjin’s just a good actor - he shouldn’t think too much about it, or worse, get caught up in it.

So he directs his attention to the phone screen Seokjin is waving at him, quickly recognizing the text conversation from Jimin.

‘Besides the TV, there're two other bugs in the room - one hidden inside the ventilation, another underneath the bed frame. Our camera is set up by the door so we can see whoever enters or exits, so make sure to wave on your way out! ;D

“Room’s all clean, I guess,” Namjoon says when he finishes reading Jimin’s text. Not as clean as Namjoon would like it; the idea that even in the privacy of their hotel room Namjoon and Seokjin have to keep up their act has Namjoon’s chest tight, and he glances over at Seokjin to see if he has similar thoughts - certainly Seokjin can’t feel comfortable constantly having to act like he’s in love with Namjoon.

Except Namjoon’s greeted by the sound of soft buzzing that he recognizes as the device Jimin had brought over for them to silence any bugs in the room. Seokjin has turned it on, tossing it on the table less carefully than it’s probably designed for, and then he throws himself onto the bed in a similar manner.

“What-”

“Namjoon-ah, when’s the last time you dated someone?”

Namjoon blinks, thinking he must’ve misheard Seokjin, but even after Namjoon rubs his eyes in disbelief, Seokjin’s still staring at him with a quizzical expression that leaves Namjoon lost for words.

“I don’t see how that’s important to talk about,” Namjoon finally answers, digging his hands into his pockets. When he looks outside, the bright sunlight shining in through the window informs him that’s it’s absolutely Way Too Fucking Early in the day to be talking to Seokjin about his love life (in fact, any time would be too early, Namjoon’s pretty sure).

“I mean, I was thinking about talking about the fact that you’re awkward as fuck, which doesn’t exactly fare well when we’re trying to convinced people that we’re married.”

Ouch. Namjoon knows that it’s been more than a few years since he’s dated someone, and he definitely doesn’t have any experience being married - especially to someone who makes his blood boil as much as Seokjin. He’s willing to admit that in reality, his romancing skills might be on the rusty side, but Namjoon had at least some confidence in his ability to fake woo someone, so it kind of hurts to hear that Seokjin takes Namjoon’s best attempts at romance and only views them as awkward . For at least their little pretend scenario that they have going on, Namjoon thinks it’d be nice if Seokjin thought he was a little cool.

“It’s your fault!” Namjoon protests, though he’s not sure where his logic is coming from. Seokjin seems to have the same thought, blinking blankly at Namjoon’s words, so he tries his best to find a better argument. “I mean, you’ve been single just as long as me.” He thinks about it. “You at least haven’t had a boyfriend since I joined the team a few years ago.”

Seokjin sits up on the bed, just enough to poke his head up and glare at Namjoon. “Actually, for your information, I didn’t break up with my boyfriend until a week after you started.”

Oh. Namjoon doesn’t remember too much about his first week with the unit, maybe even the first month; he had been a bucket full of nerves that had no space for actually remembering shit. What he does remember is this: meeting Seokjin for the first time and wanting to throw himself into a wall because there was no way Namjoon’s little gay heart was going to survive working with someone as handsome as Seokjin.

(Of course, within the first month of working with Seokjin, Namjoon figured out that his partner drove him up the wall - just not in the way he was originally thinking).

With what little memories he does have, Namjoon tries to remember anything else about Seokjin during the short period of time he must’ve been dating someone and Namjoon knew him. He does his best to picture what Seokjin’s ex-boyfriend might’ve looked like. Definitely handsome, to date someone as good looking at Seokjin. Probably funny - Seokjin loves to laugh - and charming. The image Namjoon conjures he decides he doesn’t like, currently annoyed at the idea of anyone who could actually properly woo Seokjin, unlike Namjoon, who’s apparently just awkward as fuck .

“Why’d you break up with him?” It’s a strange conversation to be having with someone Namjoon’s worked with for so many years, but the reality of it is Seokjin, despite how expressive he can be, tends to lean on the private side of living. So it’s nice, Namjoon thinks, being able to talk with Seokjin in a situation like this, their fake marriage making it feel more possible to have intimate conversations. “Was it because of work?” 

Seokjin looks Namjoon up and down, and swallows hard. “I guess you could say it had to do with work-related things.” 

There’s no chance for Namjoon to ask Seokjin to elaborate, Seokjin already shaking his head like he’s trying to clear whatever thoughts he has away. “Anyway, the point I was trying to get to,” Seokjin says after clearing his throat, “is that we should prepare for situations like that.” His cheeks are painted a light pink. “We don’t exactly act like a couple would.”

Namjoon hesitantly nods. “So what do you suggest?”

“Uh, it’s just an idea, and we don’t have to,” Namjoon has never seen Seokjin look so uncertain, “but we have the time so maybe we could practice?” The last part of the sentence he says in such a rushed manner that Namjoon barely catches it.

“Practice?” Namjoon repeats, unsure what to make of it. “Practice what?”

Seokjin rolls onto his side, not facing Namjoon. “Practice being married.”

“Like hand holding?”

“Yeah, sure, that sounds like a good start,” Seokjin mumbles. There’s a moment of silence as Namjoon waits for Seokjin to say something, but then realizes that Seokjin has subtly stuck his hand out. Swallowing hard, Namjoon walks over to bed and joins Seokjin, not looking at Seokjin as he grabs his hand and allows their fingers to intertwine.

They’ve held hands a couple of times now, but it feels different in the privacy of their room where the only sounds to distract Namjoon is Seokjin’s weighted breath next to him. Palm to palm, Namjoon realizes how intense his grip is, and he tries to relax. Except when he focuses on trying to hold Seokjin’s hand instead of gripping it for his dear life, he realizes how soft and warm Seokjin’s hand is and it makes it a whole lot harder to relax. So he closes his eyes and exhales deeply, hoping any instinct he has to do his job kicks in to override the churning sensation in his stomach - a wave of loneliness asking him when the last time he was so close to someone. It’s a small wave, just a little waver in his standing as Namjoon lets his thumb rub against the back of Seokjin’s hand, but then it painfully crashes against the reality that he’s trying to find emotional intimacy in the company of his fake husband.

“You okay?” Seokjin’s voice asks, words so quiet for a moment Namjoon thinks he made them up.

“Yeah,” Namjoon says, to reassure himself more than anything. He is fine, doesn’t have a reason to not be a fine. That’s what he tells himself as he uses his fingers to map out the shape of Seokjin’s hands, the grooves of his fingers, the contrast of his soft skin versus the rough calluses from years of physical work. It’s all incredibly Seokjin , and Namjoon can’t help but blindly grab at Seokjin’s other hand, bringing them both into his lap and gently holding them. A sigh echoes in the room - but if it was from Seokjin or himself, he doesn’t know.

“Namjoon-ah.”

Namjoon’s eyes fly open at the soft calling of his name. Only when his eyes open does he understand why Seokjin’s voice had sounded so much closer. It’s because Seokjin is sitting up now, and at some point he’s slid over on the bed so he’s right next to Namjoon. When Namjoon turns to face him properly, Seokjin’s face is only a breath away. His gaze on Namjoon is intent, almost as intent as the blush on his cheeks. The same gaze drops down to Namjoon’s lips.

“You should probably kiss me.”

Namjoon’s mouth feels horribly dry. “For practice?” For practice. Because that’s all they’re doing right now.

“For practice,” Seokjin confirms, and Namjoon almost picks up on the hesitancy in his voice except then Seokjin closes his eyes and it leaves nothing for Namjoon to focus on except to the way Seokjin’s lips are parted. Waiting.

It shouldn’t be hard; Namjoon already kissed Seokjin back at the airport, and it was fine. It was fine. Completely, totally, fine. He’s not thinking about how soft Seokjin’s lips look and how soft he knows they feel against his own. He’s not thinking about the fact that Namjoon could blink and maybe mistake the scene - Seokjin with his eyes closed waiting for Namjoon to kiss him - as something real. And he’s definitely not thinking about how he’s nervous that it’s been too many years since the last time he kissed someone and if Seokjin tells him his kissing technique is awkward as fuck he might retire and go live in the mountains forever.

Namjoon closes the distance between them, so that his forehead rests against Seokjin’s and their noses brush. He can hear the hitch in Seokjin’s breath, and he vaguely recognizes that he’s holding his own breath. 

It’s Seokjin’s breath hitting his lips when Namjoon stops leaning in and directs his lips to Seokjin’s nose and presses a kiss there.

“Hey!” Seokjin’s eyes are open now, looking annoyed, which includes the scrunch of his nose and Namjoon can’t help but laugh and give another kiss to the tip of Seokjin’s nose, unable to understand why it gives him so much joy but enjoying it nonetheless.

“You said i should kiss you,” Namjoon says, pressing two quick kisses to either side of Seokjin’s cheeks. “I’m just doing what you asked.”

Seokjin splutters, “I wasn’t asking ! It was a suggestion!” His brow furrows like he’s mad, and the pout of his lips is almost enough for Namjoon to stop messing around and properly kiss Seokjin. He likes to think if they were really married and in love, Namjoon could easily silence Seokjin’s whines with a kiss, kissing him until the complaints were gone and all there was left was the two of them both smiling against each other.

But they’re not in love, they’re not married, and Namjoon can’t even count on his hands how many times Seojin’s antics have driven him up the wall. It’s all practice, he reminds himself, looking away from Seokjin’s lips in favor of peppering kisses all of Seokjin’s face, though it all turns a bit messy when Seokjin starts laughing, which means that Namjoon starts laughing. 

Seokjin falls back on the bed, and Namjoon would’ve thought it was his way of escaping if he didn’t pull Namjoon down with him, tugging him down onto the bed by grabbing a handful of his shirt. It’s unexpected, and Namjoon barely has time to brace himself on the bed and stop himself from coming crashing down on Seokjin. Seokjin grins, satisfied by how thrown off Namjoon looks, and Namjoon gets his revenge by bringing his hands to Seokjin’s sides and tickling him.

“Namjoon!” Seokjin whines between giggles, wiggling underneath Namjoon. His protests contradict with his actions, as it almost feels like he’s rolling towards Namjoon’s touch. The bottom of Seokjin’s shirt has scrunched up, revealing Seokjin’s belly button and Namjoon's stomach feels hot when he considers pressing a kiss there, just to see if Seokjin’s reactions would be more giggles or something else.

He considers until he feels Seokjin’s gaze burning against him, and he glances at Seokjin who’s staring intently at Namjoon - probably wondering why Namjoon’s has suddenly frozen, hands resting on Seokjin’s waist. 

“Namjoon-ah?” Seokjin licks his lips.

“Yeah?”

“What are you doing?” 

That’s what snaps Namjoon out of it, dropping his fazed expression for a grin, unsure of how to interpret the blush on Seokjin’s cheeks, but choosing to continue tickle him instead of process anything too much, taking great joy in Seokjin’s squeaky giggles that have whatever tension in the room disappearing without a trace.

Except a moment later Namjoon feels his entire weight being thrown down, back hitting the bed and it’s only when Seokjin’s reversed their positions, hovering over Namjoon, that does Namjoon remember how much stronger Seokjin is than him. A part of him wonders why he didn’t put a stop to Namjoon’s mischievous activities earlier since he could’ve easily stopped it, but Seokjin is speaking before he can ponder the idea any longer.

“I’m going to kiss you now,” Seokjin announces. His lips are wet from when he licked them, and when he licks them again Namjoon carefully watches the movement of his tongue, how it traces the length of his upper lip. “If that’s okay?” He adds quietly, so only Namjoon can hear. Namjoon can’t help but nod, closing his eyes and trying not to think too much about Seokjin leaning over him.

He can feel when Seokjin’s face is right above it, his breath hitting his face, his lips. One hand cups Namjoon’s cheek, and Namjoon sighs under the touch, letting himself relax. He feels bad for Seokjin, who’s invested in their undercover role enough to help Namjoon practice being less awkward by going as far as kissing him, even though Namjoon imagines kissing him can’t be anything pleasant for Seokjin.

When a minute passes and nothing happens, Namjoon opens his eyes to find Seokjin frozen in place, staring at Namjoon while biting his lip, entire face lit red all the way to the tips of his ears. 

“Hyung?”

It snaps Seokjin out of it, but rather than leaning forward to kiss Namjoon as promised, he pulls away as if touching a hot stove, sitting upward before scrambling to climb off Namjoon. Seokjin flops onto the other side of the bed, leaving Namjoon in a moment of shock as Seokjin pulls the blankets from underneath him and begins to roll up in them just like he had the night before.

“I’m taking a nap!” He practically shouts at Namjoon before rolling over in his burrito of a blanket. Just like the night before, Namjoon is tempted to pull on the blanket, tug at it until Seokjin comes flopping back over to him.

But this time, when Namjoon reaches over to pull on the blanket, Seokjin quickly says, “You should go call Jimin and Taehyung and check if they have any information on the two suspects yet. And see if they have any more leads on their end.” That’s all he offers before rolling even farther away from Namjoon, far enough away that Namjoon can’t easily reach over to him.

“Okay,” Namjoon says quietly, letting his uselessly reaching hand drop back onto the mattress. He grabs his phone and reminds Seokjin that they have another event to attend later in the evening, peeking over his shoulder as he leaves the room to make sure Seokjin’s still doing okay before leaving the room wondering if he did something wrong.

 

+++

 

“Jimin got me a name for our two guests,” Namjoon informs Seokjin on the way down to dinner, the elevator trip down the most privacy they have available to them. “Son Sungmin and Son Minseo, married. Apparently they both have big gang affliations, both of them wanted for murder.”

“Oh, those are my favorite types of suspects!” Seokjin says gleefully, clapping his hands together. He seems in a much better mood than he was earlier, but he also stands farther from Namjoon than he usually does (even back in the office when their not undercover, they usually end up attached to each other in some form, whether it’s Namjoon’s arm around Seokjin’s shoulder or Seokjin gently leaning against Namjoon). 

Namjoon doesn’t question it, not when the elevator doors open a moment later and Seokjin grabs Namjoon’s hand and drags himself to join everyone else already starting to gather outside the dining hall, the doors for the event yet to open.

“Look, there’s our best friends now!” Seokjin whispers to Namjoon, pointing over where the Son’s are standing. They catch Seokjin’s pointing, and just as Namjoon goes to swat Seokjin’s hand down and scold him about not acting more discreetly, Seokjin waves at the couple with a big grin, grinning even wider when the couple looks away bitterly.

“Something tells me they’re not gonna wanna sit at the same table as us,” Seokjin tells Namjoon with an exaggerated pout, and Namjoon shakes his head; he must’ve been imagining things, thinking Seokjin was upset when he’s obviously acting no different than normal.

When they’re allowed in, it’s definitely different than what Namjoon pictured. Instead of different tables being set up for each type of wine, round dining tables with intimidatingly white tablecloths are set up around the room, and even from a distance Namjoon can make out the name tags laid out. 

“Damn, I wanted to make sure our table was full of the cool kids,” Seokjin grumbles, but he files in with everyone else, dragging Namjoon along to hurriedly find their seats.

“I can’t believe you wore a white shirt to fucking wine tasting. That poor white shirt.” Seokjin pulls at the sleeve of Namjoon’s white button up, grinning when Namjoon scowls.

“It’s not my fault, Jimin packed it. And strangely enough, my non-white shirt that I packed seems to have mysteriously disppeared,” Namjoon says, glaring at the shirt Seokjin’s wearing that is most definitely Namjoon’s shirt. The baby blue sweater looks good on Seokjin, really good, but he doesn’t care about that when it pisses him off to a point of feeling hot all over thinking about Seokjin stealing his stuff.

Namjoon’s not sure if he’s relieved or disappointed Son Sungmin and Minseo aren’t at the same table as Namjoon and Seokjin, but he does make sure to keep an eye on them as they take their seats, watching to see if they interact with any of the other guests - as far as Namjoon knows, they probably have more information on the other bidders than Namjoon and Seokjin do. Not that Namjoon expects them to know much, if anything, but that’s about what Seokjin and Namjoon are running off of and when they’re surrounded by everyone present and with absolutely no clue where to even start looking, it starts to stress Namjoon out.

That’s when Namjoon feels a hand on his thigh along with a comforting squeeze.

“You okay?” Seokjin asks with a small frown.

Namjoon shakes his head. “There’s just a lot of people.” He doesn’t say more, doesn’t have to say more, because Seokjin nods a second later and Namjoon knows he understands. Even as other people start joining them at their table, the crowd feels impossibly large, and there’s four other bidders they need to find, way too many people they need to convince that they’re actually married, and not to mention the fact that there could potentially be a hitman targeting them-

“Hey,” Seokjin says softly, shaking Namjoon’s legs gently. “Don’t worry about it, I got this.” He winks, and Namjoon can feel the stress melting away when Seokjin turns to one of the couples that took the seats next to him and starts talking, introducing them in a loud, obnoxious way that has all the tables nearby staring. But he does it all with a confident grin, even with the tips of his ears turning a familiar red that Namjoon can’t help but smile at.

Taking the confidence Seokjin has thrown at him, Namjoon approaches the other couple at their table, chatting them up in a way that isn’t nearly as smooth or charismatic as Seokjin, but with Seokjin’s reassuring hand still resting on his thigh, it’s enough for Namjoon to power through the conversation and hopefully drop in enough questions that can help him figure out if the couple is one of the bidders.

 

+++

 

About an hour later Namjoon is convinced he’s a wine-tasting professional. He’s pretty sure no one can swirl their wine glass like he does, and he takes pride in the way he can explain to Seokjin the alcohol content just by looking at the droplets of wine that cling to the inside of the glass. Of course, there’s the minor chance that the quick, ten-minute education the internet gave him before showing up isn’t one-hundred percent legitimate, but Seokjin claps at all of Namjoon’s explanations anyway, swirling his own glass of wine and asking Namjoon for his opinion.

At this point into the evening, a variety of wines have come out, a waitstaff bringing out a different bottle every few minutes and offering a taste to anyone who wants it. The crackers placed in the middle of the table for palate cleansing have slowly disappeared, and Namjoon’s on his third glass of water. 

“No one at our table was suspicious,” Seokjin groans, leaning in towards Namjoon. He’s definitely red in the face, and probably has tasted one-too-many wines on an empty stomach. “That was horrible. Boring. Hey, where do I complain about the services for not sitting me at a table with more suspicious guests?”

The other couples at their table have wandered off, probably to join all the other people mingling between tables. Or maybe they’re just trying to walk off the wine. Either way, it leaves Seokjin and Namjoon alone at the table, which is the only reason Namjoon doesn’t glare at Seokjin.

“We could go talk to some more people, if you want?” Namjoon offers, but he honestly feels comfortable where he’s sitting, Seokjin leaning against him like a warm blanket. Moving is the last thing on his mind.

“Or I could try another wine,” Seokjin says, glaring at his empty glass. He only perks up when a waitress approaches the table with another bottle.

“Hey, you’re not the same waitstaff we had,” Seokjin says with a frown. He’s still frowning when the waitress offers to pour him a new wine, and his pout doesn’t go away until he has more wine in his glass and he swirls it around with a grin, asking Namjoon for his opinion on the alcohol content.

“Ah, sorry, we ended up all switching tables,” she explains kindly, and Namjoon can already tell she has a lot of experience in customer service with her calm response. “One of the guests at my table was refusing to speak anything but English, so we had to send our only English-speaking staff member over there.”

“Oh. Our server spoke English?”

She shakes her head while offering Namjoon more wine - he denies, not liking how he’s already come to a point where he’s unable to resist placing a hand on the back of Seokjin’s neck.

“Oh, no, they went on break, another waiter took over my spot.”

“Damn,” Seokjin grumbles, setting his wine glass down. ”They were kind of cute.”

“Hey!” Namjoon really should’ve followed proper wine tasting techniques and spit his wine; he must’ve drank too much if he’s feeling light-headed enough to get jealous over his fake-husband thinking someone else is cute. The realization doesn’t stop his pout though, and Seokjin only responds with a wet kiss to Namjoon’s cheek.

The waitress laughs. “I’d let them know, but your husband doesn’t seem too keen on the idea I think.” 

“He’s not,” Namjoon grumbles, only barely coming to the realization of his words just as Seokjin whispers harshly into his ear.

“Oh, there’s the damn American,” Seokjin says, not even somewhat discretely glaring at a table on the other side of the room, and Namjoon’s just grateful they’re probably too far away to notice Seokjin’s glare. “Ruining my plans to seduce the cute server.”

Hyung ,” Namjoon whines. He doesn’t like how he sounds though, so he coughs to cover it up before adding, “Hyung, you don’t even know if they’re American. They could be like, I don’t know, Canadian or something?”

“Cute server told me my hair was cute. Do you know who didn’t tell me my hair was cute? My good for nothing husband.” Seokjin rolls his eyes. “And of course they’re American, they refused to speak anything but English. That has America written all over it.”

Namjoon wants to protest, but the English-speaking couple is speaking loud enough that Namjoon can hear them clearly enough to determine that Seokjin’s right: they’re definitely from America, somewhere from the West coast based on their accents.

“Oh God, I bet they’re the bad guys,” Seokjin says, straightening in his seat and shaking Namjoon by the shoulder. “Namjoon, I think I’ve solved the case!”

“Hyung-”

“No, trust me. They’re American. Do you know what Americans do? Shoot people. With their guns . Namjoon, they’re totally a bidder, I’d bet my life on it.”

“Hyung,” Namjoon says with a sigh, standing up from the table and pulling Seokjin up with him. “I think you’re a little drunk.”

Seokjin shakes his head. “No. Tipsy at best. C’mon, let’s go ask them for their bid, and then we can ask Jimin to find out who they are. Two bidders in one night!”

While Namjoon has to agree that there’s something off about the American couple, he thinks it’s much too late in the evening to try to investigate something like that, especially with the way Seokjin is leaning against him like he’s ready to fall asleep. Plus, when he looks over at the waiter the couple are bothering, Namjoon feels his face go red.

“Oh god, that’s the staff who found us in the closet earlier,” Namjoon groans, covering his face with hands. “Hyung, we can check them out tomorrow-”

“We could ask him if he found your coin,” Seokjin jokes, and it gets a typical eyeroll out of Namjoon along with a faint blush as the thought of their practice session after Seokjin made fun of his excuse the first time. It also reminds Namjoon that Seokjin still probably thinks he’s awkward, and figures it’s as good as time as ever to prove him wrong.

He wraps his arm around Seokjin’s waist, pulling him away from the direction he had been walking towards (probably to approach the couple) until he’s pressed against Namjoon and it’s all too easy for Namjoon to lean over and whisper in his ear, “Or, we could go back to the hotel room and personally show you how good I think your hair looks.”

“Oh? And how do you plan on doing that?” Seokjin has a hard grip on Namjoon’s shirt.

Namjoon nibbles Seokjin’s ear. “I don’t know, you’ll just have to come back to the room with me and find out.” He kisses right behind Seokjin’s ear as emphasis, and thinks it’s a good thing he’s finally dragging Seokjin to go to sleep; Namjoon can feel the way Seokjin shivers against him, probably tired from the long day.

They stay like that for a moment, and Namjoon is only a little happy that Seokjin has nothing to say in response, because that means he didn’t sound too awkward, right? It does take a second to let go of Seokjin, almost feeling like Seokjin’s reluctant to let go. Not that it would make any sense, considering Seokjin has made it quite clear that playing married to Namjoon isn’t his favorite task in the world.

They walk back to the hotel room hand in hand, probably ditching the event earlier than they should but Namjoon reassures himself by remembering all the other activities listed out for the rest of the week; there’s plenty of time for them to find the other bidders.

“Hey, do you really think my hair looks cute?” Seokjin asks quietly once they’re right in front of the hotel door. He looks incredibly tiny as he looks at Namjoon with curious eyes and red cheeks, the effects of the wine lingering.

Namjoon shrugs. “Of course I do. But like, hyung, you’re always cute, no matter what.”

“Oh,” Seokjin squeeks out quietly. He suddenly seems in a rush to go inside, fumbling with the hotel card key to a point where he almost drops it a few times before slotting it in and pushing the door open. Namjon follows behind quickly, shutting the door quietly behind him as Seokjin heads over to the bed.

Except the click of the door shutting is followed by a click that Namjoon’s unfortunately just as familiar with, and when he turns to look at Seokjin, he sees him with both hands raised in the air, face as white as a sheet.

“Don’t move,” the mysterious woman says, aiming her gun at Namjoon, “or I shoot.”

 

Chapter Text

Namjoon walks behind Seokjin as they’re both directed down the hallway, trying not to think too much about the gun pressed to his back. The unknown woman follows directly behind him, almost like she’s lurking over Namjoon’s shoulder. If they weren’t in such a public space, Namjoon would be tempted to try something stupid and disarm the woman. But not only would that alert too many people, the chances of something bad happening to Seokjin who’s only standing a few steps in front of Namjoon makes anything immediately not worth the risk.

Luckily, the woman is under the impression that she’s dealing with two arms dealers, not two detectives. At least, that’s what Namjoon assumes, the women not hesitating to lead them out of the front door of their hotel room, not even considering the chance that there could be a camera set up for an entire team of backup to monitor - which there is. It’s the only thing that reassures Namjoon as he’s led to a room just down the hall.

“Knock on the door,” the woman behind Namjoon commands Seokjin once they’re told to stop walking. Seokjin’s movements are stiff as he slowly approaches the door and knocks twice. There’s a moment where all three of them wait in the hallway, Namjoon holding his breath until the door opens. “Go inside,” the woman says, pushing Namjoon forward with the barrel of her gun, using enough force to have Namjoon stumbling forward and running into Seokjin. It’s a brief moment of contact, but it gives Namjoon a quick chance to put a hand on Seokjin and offer a reassuring squeeze to his side. It’s brief, nothing too long to avoid angering the women holding the gun, but Seokjin’s soft sigh as he lets out the breath he was holding let’s Namjoon know that he was still able to convey his message. It’ll be okay .

Or at least, Namjoon hopes. He doesn’t know what to expect as he walks into the hotel room. But maybe that’s for the best, as his expectations haven’t been getting him very far today; after all, he had expected to go back to the hotel room and get some sleep. Now he’s just overwhelmed by regret, wishing he had been a little more careful when he knew there was a good chance that someone wanted Namjoon and Seokjin dead - or at least, the gun dealers they’re playing the role of.

The women must’ve snuck in through the window, Namjoon decides. Or maybe the ventilation system above the hotel rooms is big enough for a person to fit through? It’s definitely something he’ll have to investigate later, but there’s no way she went through the front door without Jimin or Taehyung seeing her on the surveillance camera and warning Namjoon and Seokjin.

The woman isn’t a guest that Namjoon recognizes, but the other woman sitting on the bed inside the hotel room is. Like the woman behind Namjoon, she holds a gun, though hers isn’t pointed particularly at anyone and Namjoon thinks that’s quite wonderful. She does smile more than the women behind Namjoon, which isn’t reassuring considering the fact that she’s one of the wealthy guests attending the event which means the person holding the gun to Namjoon is probably one of her employees who she ordered to capture Seokjin and Namjoon - and the fact that she smiles makes Namjoon worry that her gun won’t stay unpointed for long.

“Apologies for calling to meet so late at night, but I do have plans to sleep in tomorrow that I don’t have interest in interfering with,” the woman in front of them says, barely propped up on the bed she’s lying on. She’s dressed the same way she was at the party, a pink button up tucked neatly into high-waisted black dress pants. Her black hair is tied back in a bun.

Seokjin stands in front of Namjoon, and like always, appears almost recklessly confident. Only Namjoon can see the curve of his spine, the way he’s folding in on himself, hands tensed but not clenched. It’s all Namjoon can do to not reach out and touch him, almost like his hands are magnets and he’s trying to stick himself to Seokjin. He keeps his hands at his sides though, aware of (what he’s assuming to be) the bodyguard still aiming her weapon from behind.

“With all due respect ma’am, I think the apologies due have less to do with the hour of the night and more to do with the gun your employee decided to point at us,” Seokjin says, voice pleasant and with a smile.

The woman laughs. “Please, call me Jiyeon. And I suppose it could’ve been a warmer of greetings, but you two left the dining hall before I had a chance to stop by and say hello.” She tilts her head with an amused smile. “Though I must say, I didn’t think I’d have the chance to say hello at all this week. Rumor had it that you two had been,” she shrugs, “forced to retire earlier than planned, shall we say?”

Namjoon swallows hard. That’s another bidder who had information that the two gun dealers had been killed. Where were they getting the information? Did that make them more suspicious of Seokjin and Namjoon? It was concerning, even if it was only two people so far - somehow word had spread that Deimos and Phobos were supposed to be dead, and if Seokjin and Namjoon weren’t suspicious enough, the fact that the people they’re pretending to be are known to be dead just raises their chances of being caught.

Seokjin isn’t nearly as fazed as Namjoon. Or at least he doesn’t look like it. Maybe Seokjin already expected for Jiyeon to know, considering if Son Sungmin and Minseo already got their hands on the information; it’s not unlikely that the other bidders aren’t in similar information circles. Namjoon internally yells at himself for not making note of that earlier. He could’ve at least told Yoongi so they could prioritize figuring out where the information leak was coming from.

While Namjoon drowns in his own messy thoughts, Seokjin continues the conversation with an exaggerated pout. 

“Damn, I’m really concerned over how many people have told me that today,” Seokjin says, clicking his tongue and shaking his head in such an exaggerated manner that makes it looks like he’s faking any sort of concern he might be actually displaying - whether if that’s all a play within itself, Namjoon isn’t sure. Still, he decides it’s best he goes with Seokjin’s faked concern; they can’t risk anyone figuring out that they know they’re supposed to be dead.

Namjoon rolls his eyes. “Hyung, it’s only the second time.”

Seokjin looks back at Namjoon with wide eyes. “How many times do you have to be told people thought you were dead before you start to get concerned? I think most people start at once.”

Jiyeon laughs at the statement, using her hand to cover her smile. “Ah, you two are quite amusing. I’d almost love to keep the conversation going, but since I won’t be available for tomorrow’s deadline, I’d let to get business finished now.”

Namjoon doesn’t say anything, but a quick glance exchanged with Seokjin confirms they’re thinking the same thing: a deadline. From what Namjoon can tell, it’s a deadline for when the first bid is due. Which means if their prediction about five bidders is correct, after the Son’s and Jiyeon, there’s three more bidders who’re going to make their appearance by tomorrow if they want to participate in the auction.

“Do we really need both of them, ma’am?” The bodyguard in the back has been silent the entire time, but it’s hard to forget someone’s presence when you know they’re holding a gun to you. Jiyeon looks intrigued by her bodyguard’s outburst, which is continued by, “I mean, why do business with two people when it’s easier only dealing with one?”

Jiyeon ponders the thought. “Well, I guess we really only need one of them.”

Namjoon can’t help but flinch when he feels the barrel of the gun press against his back, and when Jiyeon points her gun towards Namjoon, he can’t help but think that even in a situation that’s complete faked, they know that Namjoon is the expendable one - Seokjin’s the one in charge of the business. And while Namjoon’s ego is a little hurt over the fact that they aren’t looking at him as a valuable playing piece, he’s also relieved that as far as he can tell, Seokjin hasn’t been put in harm's way yet.

Seokjin doesn’t look nearly as happy. His confident smile and feigned relaxed pose turn tense, ridgid, stepping in front of Namjoon without a second of hesitation.

“You touch a single hair on his head and the only weapon you’ll get is my gun to your fucking head.” It almost doesn’t sound like Seokjin, whose voice to Namjoon sounds like laughter and honey. Even when Seokjin gets mad (always at Jungkook; though even those times Seokjin’s not that mad and it ends with both of them giggling) it’s not like the Seokjin Namjoon sees in front of him right now, boldly glaring at Jiyeon.

Jiyeon laughs, but she lowers her weapon anyway, gently placing it at her side. “Bold of someone unarmed to say,” she says, eyebrows raised. “But cute. Jiwoo, put your weapon down, we’re just talking for now.” 

The bodyguard (Jiwoo?) grunts in what sounds like disappointment, but the pressure of metal against Namjoon’s back goes away, and he can’t help but sigh in relief. Not that they’re out of danger yet, surrounded by two armed felons who could easily change their peaceful attitude. All Namjoon has to rely on is one of the team seeing the video footage of the hotel room and tracking them back here. Which is maybe why he doesn’t feel as stressed as he should in such a dangerous situation: he trusts his team, he trusts Seokjin. 

It’s too much to express his thanks to Seokjin for standing up for him, so the natural solution Namjoon finds is to slowly extend his hand out and grab Seokjin’s, missing Seokjin’s soft gasp of surprise as he interlaces their fingers and gives a tight squeeze. 

Seokjin looks back at Namjoon, eyes widened. He looks down at their intertwined hands, briefly, before looking back up at Namjoon with an expression so soft that it almost throws Namjoon off, the scrunch of his cheeks from his smile emphasized by his blush.

Jiyeon grunts in surprise, catching both Namjoon and Seokjin’s attention. She’s staring at Seokjin curiously, like he’s just revealed something amusing, and it shows by the way the corners of her lips curl upward.

“You love him,” she says, staring at Seokjin with a raised eyebrow. 

Seokjin blanches, and Namjoon feels his own heart stop in his chest. The hand holding Seokjin’s feels hot, and it’s only after a couple of seconds that he realizes how much his grip has intensified, squeezing Seokjin’s hand to a point where it has to hurt. He relaxes his grip, but doesn’t completely let go.

He wonders what’s going through Seokjin’s mind right now, as he blankly stares back at Jiyeon. It already feels like it’s been hours, even though he’s only been holding his breath for less than a few seconds. It’s a sudden statement from Jiyeon, a strange one, and Namjoon can’t blame Seokjin for feeling so caught off guard, biting his lower lip as he debates his words. The color in his face has started to return, but now the tips of his ears are painted red, flustered from being called out on his act.

Finally, Seokjin retorts quietly, “We’re married. Of course I do.”

Jiyeon almost looks impressed, laughing. “I figured it was an empty business deal. I think a lot of the marriages here are.” She glances over to the otherside of her bed, at (what Namjoon assumes to be) her husband’s things.

She snorts, before returning to look at Seokjin with a big smile. “I must admit, I’m a bit endeared by you two. So I’ll play nice. What’s the biggest bid so far?” 

Seokjin answers without stuttering, which Namjoon considers impressive considering how much Seokjin’s hand is still shaking against his. Namjoon uses his thumb to rub the back of Seokjin’s hand reassuringly, though all he wants to do is properly hold onto Seokjin, put his mind at ease, and tell him everything’s going to be okay.

Jiyeon doesn’t flinch at the price Seokjin drops, surprisingly enough. Namjoon knows that even if he doesn’t physically react to the amount of money being discussed, the thought alone of that much money being thrown around makes him feel light-headed. 

“Easy,” Jiyeon says. “I’d like to double that.”

“My lady?” Jiwoo gasps, audibly sharing the same shock Namjoon is feeling. Seokjin also looks surprised, jaw dropped.

Jiyeon shrugs, unbothered. She almost looks bored, pulling out her phone and letting her gaze get lost on the screen. “Eh, I like them.”

Jiwoo looks lost. “In all due respect-”

Jiyeon clicks his tongue, furrowing her brows as she squints to read something on her phone, still not looking up. “In all due respect, they’re cute. I like cute things, I like them. And more importantly, I like what they’re selling, and I want it. And if I happen to scare the other bidders out of their money this early, that’s just a bonus.”

There’s a moment of silence that feels like no one has the courage to break, but Namjoon’s not surprised when the one who clears their throat to break the ice is Seokjin, his expression finally returned to a cooler, neutral state.

“I’ll make sure to make note of that and let the other bidders know. Is there anything else we could help you with tonight?”

“No, that’ll be it. Let me know if anyone outbids me - not that anyone wise would try to do that.” Still looking at her phones, she gestures towards the door, waving his hand. “Jiwoo, escort these two out. We have some business to finish up before we go to bed.”

Namjoon almost feels numb as Jiwoo practically pushes the two of them out, slamming the door shut behind them. He’s vaguely aware that he’s still holding Seokjin’s hand, only recognizing it when Seokjin starts dragging him away, stride long and fast as he pulls Namjoon along.

“Hyung, wait,” Namjoon tries, barely catching a glimpse of Jimin and Taehyung hiding behind the corner, Jimin shooting them a thumbs up - at least it’s reassuring to know that they really did have the two of them covered and that they hadn’t really been in danger.

Seokjin drags him all the way back to the hotel room without a word. It’s unusual for Seokjin, who usually can’t go a moment without finding something interesting to say to Namjoon, and even though Namjoon’s sure Seokjin’s still recovering from the shock, the silence leaves him unsettled, almost like he’s standing alone in the hotel room.

Except he forgets the meaning of alone when the door shuts behind them with a click, and before Namjoon can ask Seokjin if he’s okay he’s silenced by Seokjin’s lips being pressed against his.

Namjoon thinks he had been doing a very good job not thinking about how soft Seokjin’s lips had felt from the One Impulsive Kiss That Namjoon Probably Really Regrets, and he one-hundred percent blames Seokjin for ruining all his efforts to Not Think About It. After all, it’s hard to think about anything else when Namjoon’s experiencing said Really Really Soft Lips being pressed against his, and only after the internal panic of thinking about how he really should’ve put more chapstick on this morning does the fact that Seokjin is kissing him click.

Seokjin hands cup Namjoon’s face, tilting his head down to bridge the couple of centimeters gap between them. The kiss is urgent, Seokjin’s grip on Namjoon forceful as if he’s afraid that Namjoon’s going to disappear between his hands. Hardly noticeable compared to the feeling of Seokjin’s lips moving against his, warm and soft and Namjoon can’t help but relax against Seokjin. 

It’s been too long since the last time Namjoon kissed someone - or at least kissed someone properly. The kiss at the airport hadn’t been anything more than a peck, just a brief moment of Namjoon pressing his lips against Seokjin’s. Nothing like the intense way Seokjin moves his lips against Namjoon’s, like he has something to say, has a message to convey. And all Namjoon can do is do his best to answer back, even if he doesn’t really know what he’s answering, doesn’t know anything except Seokjin in front of him and the way his blood runs hot when he finally kisses Seokjin back and hears the gasp Seokjin lets out before he swallows it with his lips.

“Namjoon?” The way Seokjin calls out his name becomes muffled against Namjoon’s mouth, which is the only reason Namjoon thinks he mistakes the sound as something desperate. There’s a moment of tension in Seokjin’s body, a moment where Namjoon immediately pulls away. A thick wave of heat crashes over him at the wet pop of their lips separating. Seokjin’s hands are still on his face, like little flames that set his skin afire.

It’s now that he’s not so immersed in the kiss that Namjoon can think clearly, and by clearly, it’s something along the lines of: oh god he’s kissing me. Luckily, the giant cloud of confusion fogging his brain rains down a droplet of advice.

“For practice, yeah?” Namjoon mumbles, and even though they’re not kissing anymore, they might as well be with the lack of distance between them, lips brushing as Namjoon speaks. For practice , his brain reminds him when Seokjin tenses even further, and he places his hands on Seokjin’s shoulders to push him away so he can properly look at his partner.

“Hyung?” The words come out like a punch to the gut, when Namjoon’s faced with a teary-eyed Seokjin, and it becomes even worse when the tears start to spill out of the corner of Seokjin’s eyes, dribbling down his cheeks.

“Hyung, what’s wrong?” Namjoon asks, patting down Seokjin’s sides all the way up until he’s cupping his cheeks where the tears are running down, making sure he isn't injured. 

“Shit,” Seokjin curses, sniffling. “Shit, I really thought that might’ve been it, I thought-” he takes a deep breath, exhaling shakily. “I thought I was going to lose you, Joon.” His hands slide down from Namjoon’s cheeks to his neck, all the way down to his chest where his palms lay flat. A moment of silence, and even if Seokjin couldn’t feel Namjoon’s heartbeat, he could certainly hear how it thumps loudly in Namjoon’s chest.

“I thought you weren’t scared of a little gunfire?” Namjoon quietly teases, trying to crack a smile from his partner while also thinking about the words himself: how Seokjin had so carelessly chased after potentially armed felons earlier without hesitation, only to seem terrified to the point of tears now.

Seokjin shakes his head, though not quite leaning out of Namjoon’s touch. “Those times were different. Usually I have it under control, all the times where it’s been dangerous I’ve been able to keep you safe.” Namjoon’s mind flashes back to when they were in America less than a week ago. Seokjin jokingly running off with the case, humor high and laughter loud enough to distract Namjoon from the fact that he had almost eliminated all of the threat from Namjoon, and in that sense, protecting him. The thought comforts him like a hug, but one that slowly starts to cut off his airway as he thinks about the danger Seokjin is willing to put himself through, and he thinks about today if Jiyeon’s gun had been pointed at Seokjin.

He’s not completely oblivious to the way his hands hold onto Seokjin even tighter at the thought.

“And this time, I was acting ridiculous, just like you always say I do,” Seokjin continues, and oh

Namjon yells at Seokjin - a lot. It started exactly one day into their partnership when Seokjin had convinced Namjoon to dumpster dive with him in search for evidence for the case they were working on, only to tell Namjoon an hour later that they had sufficient evidence from the rest of the apartment and his dumpster diving suggestion was only because he’d thought it’d be a fun way for them to bond. On that day Namjoon had learned two things: one was that Seokjin was annoyingly good looking because no one needed to still look good while covered in trash. The other thing was that Namjoon was going to have to get over the prior fact and scold his partner without hesitation.

It’s been part of their relationship since basically the beginning, and at some point Namjon has to admit it’s become almost like a joke: Seokjin does something ridiculous, Namjoon gets mad, and Namjoon’s stuck rolling his eyes as Seokjin laughs at his frustration. He figured Seokjin never took any of it to heart - certainly he didn’t act like it - but now Seokjin’s in front of him with tears admitting to what Namjoon has probably told him a million times and Namjoon wants to punch himself because how could he have convinced Seokjin of something so untrue? 

“Hyung-”

“No, I know, I was drinking irresponsibly on the job, I got drunk. I should’ve stopped messing around and been more alert, then I could’ve actually protected you and-”

“Hey, listen to me,” Namjoon interrupts Seokjin’s spiraling thoughts and words, taking advantage of the positioning of his hands and squishing Seokjin’s cheeks between them. He waits until Seokjin properly looks at him before talking.

“I may call you out for acting ridiculous sometimes, but I hope you know that I say it because I worry about you. You’re absolutely brilliant, and I admire the way you worry about the people around you, and I wish you’d view yourself in the same precious way because you deserve it.” Maybe Namjoon isn’t as good at words as he thought he was, watching Seokjin’s eyes water even more as he continues to speak. “Maybe you were too relaxed, but you saw Jimin and Taehyung were right there to back us up.”

Namjoon’s reassured by the way Seokjin’s shoulders relax; only the slightest amount of tension remains. “And even if they weren’t, what do you think I’m here for?” Namjoon smiles. “We’re in this together, hyung. I’ve got you.”

He’s hoping the words will be enough to finally relax Seokjin, but instead Namjoon is faced with Seokjin intensely staring at him, lower lip between his teeth. There’s a question in his eyes, and Namjoon has no idea who it’s directed at, because even though Seokjin’s looking directly at Namjoon his eyes aren’t focused at all, lost in a thought that Namjoon could only dream of trying to decipher. It’s maybe the first time Namjoon’s seen Seokjin act so hesitantly, and he can’t help but hold his breath as he waits for Seokjin to speak whatever’s on his mind.

There’s lingering tears on Seokjin’s face when he finally whispers, “Kiss me?”

Seokjin’s eyes are beginning to water again, and even though Namjoon doesn’t think any of the bugs besides the ones from their own team will pick up on Seokjin’s tears, he’s sure that the feigned wavering of Seokjin’s voice is sure to be picked up.

“Of course,” Namjoon quickly responds, much too quiet for any bug to pick it up, but it breaks Namjoon’s heart that even though Seokjin’s acting, he sounds so hurt about the idea of Namjoon not wanting to kiss him - as if Namjoon or any sane person could actually reject Seokjin. So like any fake husband would, Namjoon kisses the corner of Seokjin’s eyes where the tears are starting to spill over before grabbing Seokjin by the cheeks and kissing his lips.

The kiss is gentle. Painfully gentle. It tastes like the tears Namjoon just kissed away, it tastes like love. It’s painful, the way Seokjin seems to melt against Namjoon’s touch, soft lips pushing and pulling against Namjoon’s. 

The taste of fresh tears hits Namjoon’s lips just as Seokjin pulls away.

“No, wait, I can’t-” He barely finishes the words he’s blubbering out, “I messed up, I can’t do this, I’m sorry-”

Seokjin’s protests are silenced by another kiss from Namjoon - this fake husband routine really comes in handy, and a part of Namjoon wishes he could keep kissing Seokjin like this even after the case is over (only to shut him up, of course).

“Hey, you didn’t mess up, we’re safe right now, you know that, right?” Seokjin shakes his head, not in disagreement but in a way that almost has Namjoon wondering if Seokjin’s even upset about the same thing anymore. He can’t think of any other reason Seokjin would be this upset though, so he continues on. “You’re wonderful, an amazing detective, the best partner I’ve ever had, and even though you drive me crazy I wouldn’t change a thing about you.” It’s supposed to be reassuring words, things Namjoon’s throwing out in attempts to make Seokjin feel better, but as he says the sugar-coated words he can’t help but notice that none of it’s really untrue.

Seokjin shrugs away from Namjoon’s touch, backing away to grab the signal silencer from the bedside drawer and turning it on; it’s just the two of them now, nothing to act about.

“Amazing? You’re the amazing one, and you have to deal with me even though I know all I do is make things complicated.” Seokjin takes a deep breath, straightening his posture and staring at Namjoon with flushed cheeks and a hesitant gaze that slowly turns determined. “Namjoon-ah, I actually really-”

Namjoon doesn’t know what Seokjin plans on saying, but he knows he can’t let Seokjin down talk himself anymore, so he takes advantage of the situation with another kiss. Seokjin tastes vaguely of cherry chapstick, the same cherry chapstick that belongs to Namjoon which leaves the possibility that he stole Namjoon’s chapstick at some point or it’s somehow transferred from Namjoon’s lips to Seokjin’s, and both ideas leave Namjoon feeling flustered.

This time neither of them pull away completely, foreheads rested against each other as Namjoon talks. “Did you know at one point Yoongi asked me if I wanted to switch partners? Told me if I really couldn’t deal with you that he’d be happy to readjust the team.”

Seokjin laughs quietly. “And try to separate Taehyung and Jimin? Perposterous.”

Namjoon smiles at the sound of Seokjin’s laughter. “Yeah, Yoongi must’ve not thought that through very well. But it doesn’t matter, I told him no anyway.”

Seokjin’s breath catches in his throat. “Oh. Why’d you do that?”

That’s a question Namjoon had asked himself about a day later after rejecting Yoongi’s offer and finding Seokjin using Namjoon’s favorite mug while sitting at his desk. It’s the same question he asked himself when he watched Seokjin cross a busy four-lane road to chase after their bad guy and Namjoon felt obligated to follow behind despite the encore of car honks, it’s the same question he asked himself when Seokjin showed up at his house in the middle night after he texted him that he was having troubles sleeping.

It’s the same question Namjoon asks himself now, nose brushing Seokjin’s, hot breath hitting his face, Seokjin’s hands resting gently against his chest.

“Because I like you, hyung,” Namjoon finally answers, feeling Seokjin’s hand harshly grip at his shirt. “You’re a good partner.” No, that doesn’t sound right. “You’re a good person.” It still doesn’t feel right, not with Seokjin standing so close and Namjoon’s heart beating faster than it should, but it’s the words he settles on.

“What if I’m not being good? What if I’m being incredibly selfish right now?”

Namjoon frowns. “Your extreme measures to solve a case might be impulsive, but I wouldn’t call it selfish.” After a second of thought he adds, “And I think you deserve to be selfish sometimes. It’s okay.”

Seokjin softly echoes, “ It’s okay .” He doesn’t sound sure of the words, and he sighs quietly in resignation, and Namjoon almost misses the apology Seokjin mumbles before he leans forward.

They stumble back, Seokjin pushing Namjoon - but not away, his fingers still carefully wrapped around Namjoon’s shirt, keeping him close all the way up until the back of Namjoon’s knees hit the end of the bed and he’s forced to sit down and Seokjin comes following immediately after, finding a seat on Namjoon’s lap.

“Again?” Seokjin asks quietly, hands pressed against Namjoon’s chest, slowly fisting the fabric of Namjoon's shirt. His skin feels on fire when he realizes Seokjin is asking for a kiss.

The words for practice go unspoken, but Namjoon hears them nonetheless, and it feels like an anchor in his stomach as he takes his hand to cup the back of Seokjin’s neck.

Because poor Seokjin, forced to act into exhaustion as Namjoon stands by idly, and it’s the least he can do to kiss Seokjin and continue the act, pressing his lips fervently against Seokjin’s as if he’s earnest about the kiss, his love. Pulling Seokjin even closer, letting his hands drag across Seokjin’s skin, only feels natural.

It only feels natural, falling pliant against Seokjin’s touch as his hands hesitantly leave the clutches of Namjoon’s shirt and travel upward. Palms pressing flat against Namjoon’s chest, fingers gently tracing Namjoon’s collar bones as they pass by, finally reaching up to tangle in Namjoon’s hair and pull him even closer.

Namjoon forgets to breathe. He finds himself gasping for air against Seokjin’s mouth, finds himself gasping when Seokjin takes his lower lip between his teeth and gently bites before running his tongue over the same spot. They’re in a room by themselves, with no one to see or hear, and Namjoon kisses Seokjin like it’s the only thing he knows. It feels like it, head completely empty, drunk off the sound of wet kisses and Seokjin’s quiet panting.

They kiss until Namjoon’s lips feel sore and bruised, and he flushes at the site of Seokjin when he breaks away, lips puffy and swollen. That’s because of me , Namjoon’s brain helpfully provides; a thought he quickly throws away or else it’ll be the only thought to occupy his mind ever again.

“Hyung…” Namjoon feels like he needs to say something with the way Seokjin is staring at him. He thinks he’d like to make a comment about how red Seokjin’s ears are, because he knows they’ll turn even redder if Namjoon points it out. So he does, reaching out to touch Seokjin’s ears only to be swatted away by Seokjin.

“They’re not red,” grumbles Seokjin with a huff. When Namjoon only smiles, he frowns even more. “Hey, stop looking at them.”

Namjoon laughs. “It’s endearing.”

The blush has spread to the entirety of Seokjin’s face, though he still tries to hide his red ears with his hands. They stare at each other, and a second later Namjoon can’t help but laugh, falling forward so his head rests against Seokjin’s shoulder.

“You know, you’ve never mentioned Yoongi offering to switch you partners before.”

Oh. Namjoon’s surprised Seokjin even remembered the comment, as Namjoon already barely remembers mentioning it - it’s hard to remember anything over the tingling of his lips. “To be honest, I almost forgot about it until you mentioned it.”

“Really?”

“I mean, it was so long ago, and it wasn’t like it was a big discussion or anything. He called me into his office, asked, and I said no.”

With his head resting on Seokjin’s shoulder, Namjoon can’t see Seokjin’s face, but the surprise is audible. “Just like that?”

“I mean, it wasn’t something I really had to think about.” It really wasn’t - that, Namjoon remembers. “I mean, isn’t it good like this?” He sits up again to see Seokjin’s reaction.

Seokjin stares at Namjoon with swollen lips red from kissing, still a little flushed with his shirt and hair disheveled. “Like this?”

Namjoon swallows hard. “Yeah, like this. Uh, we’re a good team, you know?” A team. Partners. Questionably friends. Two people who just kissed each other like they were in love and who now know how the other tastes and-

Namjoon shakes his head. A team. 

Speaking of teams, Namjoon suddenly sits up, not pushing Seokjin off but maneuvering carefully around the man in his lap to reach for his phone. “We need to call Jimin, let him know what we learned and see what he knows-”

Seokjin boos.

“Hyung-”

Seokjin boos again. “It’s late, he knows we’re safe, we can call him tomorrow.” He must be tired to be whining so cutely to Namjoon, wrapping his limbs around him and hugging him close, face pressed into the crook of Namjoon’s neck. “Let’s go to bed.”

It’s hard to argue; Namjoon is incredibly tired, and Seokjin is incredibly warm and the last thing Namjoon wants to do is let go. But he reluctantly convinces Seokjin and himself to at least go brush their teeth, Seokjin still draped over him as they walk to the bathroom. Namjoon decides not to say anything when Seokjin accidentally uses his toothbrush.

They change into pajamas and crawl into bed, and Namjoon settles on his side after turning the light off. Tonight he has plenty of blankets to keep him warm, yet he’s distinctly cold. He remembers holding Seokjin close to him the night before, how heavy and uncomfortable Seokjin had felt on top of him.

He rolls over onto his other side so he’s facing Seokjin.

“Oh,” Seokjin says, definitely not sleeping and facing Namjoon. “Do you need something?”

Namjoon purses his lips together. “I’m cold.”

Seokjin sighs in relief, and a second later he rolls over on the bed so that he’s pressed up against Namjoon, back pressing against Namjoon’s chest. Like puzzle pieces, Namjoon’s arm seems to fit perfectly over Seokjin’s waist as he pulls him closer.

Now that they’re situated, he thinks they’re done for the night, silent as they try to get a good night’s sleep so they can prepare for whatever comes tomorrow. According to what Jiyeon said, the rest of the bidders should be making their appearance tomorrow, or at least if they’re going to stay in the auction. That means there’s three more people Seokjin and Namjoon are going to have to deal with tomorrow, and between the two bidders who’ve already approached them, Namjoon’s personally exhausted. The only thing he looks forward to is hopefully one of the bidders spilling what Deimos and Phobos were actually selling, or maybe figuring out who exactly hired the hitman to take the gun dealers out. Hopefully figure out if said hitman has switched their target to Seokjin and Namjoon.

He makes a mental note to call Jimin first thing in the morning, maybe even before Seokjin wakes up so they can go get breakfast together. He can’t imagine Seokjin waking up early tomorrow, not when he can easily look down at the man in his arms and see how tired he looks, He’s tempted to kiss the top of Seokjin’s head, but he resists with the idea of trying to actually fall asleep at the top of his priorities, the only thing above his own sleep being to make sure Seokjin sleeps soundly. So he doesn’t move too much, just enough adjusting to feel comfortable and join Seokjin in sleeping.

Except a few minutes later when Namjoon’s about to fall asleep, Seokjin suddenly whispers something.

“I love you.”

Namjoon vaguely notes the silencer is still on, buzzing in the background. There’s no one to listen to their act.

Seokjin must’ve forgotten , Namjoon thinks before drifting off to sleep.

Chapter Text

“We should be good to talk up here,” Jimin tells Namjoon when he sneaks up to the rooftop of the hotel. The rooftop access door is usually locked from what Namjoon can tell, but Jimin had already obviously found a way around that when he invited Namjoon up via text early in the morning.

“I doubt anyone else is up this early,” Namjoon grumbles, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes. The rooftop door closes behind him, and he follows Jimin to find a place near the building's generators to sit; the building isn’t tall enough to hide the two men standing on top of it. Plus, if anyone is listening, they certainly won’t be able to hear over the loud whirring of the generators.

“You were,” Jimin points out with raised brows, the corner of his lips tugged upwards. “I didn’t even expect you guys to wake up for another hour. You weren’t up to some early morning couple activities, were you?”

Namjoon had woken up to an armful of Seokjin laying almost directly on top of him. The weight had been surprisingly reassuring, and Namjoon had almost fallen back asleep to enjoy the feeling for a little longer. Almost, before Seokjin had shifted against him with a tiny grunt, and even the small movement of Seokjin against his body had alerted Namjoon that he was shamelessly hard.

The peaceful morning wake up had turned into Namjoon hurriedly shoving Seokjin off and then quickly apologizing when Seokjin groaned in complaint - and Namjoon had held his breath as he waited to see if Seokjin would fall back asleep or if he would have a huge problem to explain. Luckily, Seokjin flopped over onto his tummy a minute later, and Namjoon was free to escape to the bathroom to discover how cold the hotel’s shower water could get.

The way Jimin wiggles his eyebrows at Namjoon has him concerned because he hadn’t turned the silencer back off until after he had gotten out of the shower, so there’s no way Jimin should know. However, Jimin’s smug grin suggests otherwise.

Namjoon scoffs, hoping the slowly rising sun doesn’t cast enough light on his face to reveal his certainly red cheeks. “I wanted to get in contact with you as soon as possible. Seokjin and I are getting close to finding all the bidders, and the rest of them are supposed to contact us by today. Have you guys had any developments in the case?”

Jimin snorts. “The only developments in the case so far are you and Seokjin-hyung’s fake marriage. You’ve gone pretty far into your undercover role, huh?”

Namjoon frowns. He has to admit he can’t remember the last time he was so deep undercover. And the strange thing is, despite the obvious amount of acting going on for Seokjin and Namjoon to look in love, it doesn’t feel strenuous at all. 

“Well, there’s a lot riding on if we can keep up the act or not,” Namjoon says finally. It’s true; if any of the bidders figure out Seokjin and Namjoon are imposters, not only are they probably in danger, but the case falls apart as well. 

“Oh? The act that seems to keep going on behind closed doors?”

Namjoon can hear the click of the hotel door closing behind him, echoing in his head as he replays Seokjin grabbing him and kissing him like it was the last thing he’d ever do. The feeling of Seokjin’s plush lips pushing and pulling, hands like fire on Namjoon. He thinks he might’ve dreamed about it last night, thinks it might’ve been the reason he woke up the way he did. He thinks, but he doesn’t, remembering Seokjin announcing I love you to a room completely empty except for Namjoon.

“For practice,” Namjoon says, the same words that have been echoing in his ears for what seems like years. His heart clenches, mind wandering to what Jimin is trying to insinuate. As if Seokjin and Namjoon have been exchanging kisses for their own satisfaction. Not that kissing Seokjin isn’t satisfying, but it’s not like Namjoon would go around kissing his partner if it wasn’t for the sake of the case - or more like it’s not like Seokjin would let Namjoon go around and kiss him if it wasn’t for the sake of the case.

“For practice,” Namjoon repeats, pressing his lips into a flat line when he looks at Jimin’s disbelieving look. “Because we’re doing our job, unlike you guys apparently. You really don’t have anything?”

Jimin sighs, nudging Namjoon with his shoulder. “If making out with your partner who you’re totally not in love with is doing the job, then I’d like you to know that I’m doing some excellent work.” Before Namjoon can comment Jimin continues, “And while I’d love to grill you more, I actually do have some news to share with you.”

That’s enough to catch Namjoon’s attention and for his brain to drop any other thoughts he might’ve been having. “What is it? Any news on what we’re actually supposed to be selling?”

Jimin frowns. “Look, I didn’t say it was good news.”

Namjoon sighs. “Of course not.” At least it’s Jimin who’s delivering the news, Namjoon thinks. Taehyung isn’t the kind of guy to beat around the bush, which is useful, but also Namjoon really doesn’t want to hear bad news right now. He wants Jimin to tell him that they’ve figured out what they’re selling and where it’s been stored, and then he wants to go back to the hotel room to get more sleep. 

At least Jimin tries to soften the blow. “Well, I do have information on the lady who held you at gun-point last night,” Jimin offers, reaching over to where he’s slung his bag, pulling out a tablet. He unlocks the screen and pulls up some files.

“Jiyeon,” Namjoon blurts out, remembering the woman from the night before. At the thought, he feels terribly nervous at the thought of leaving Seokjin alone in the hotel room with no one to have his back.

Namjoon goes up to stand up instinctively, and as if Jimin can read his mind, he puts a hand on Namjoon’s arm and gently pulls him back down. “Taehyung’s got his eyes on the room right now, and has probably already gone in to adjust our camera situation. Seokjin-hyung’s fine.”

It’s reassuring to know that Taehyung is there and that the camera situation is being adjusted - though there’s something unpleasant about knowing that Seokjin and Namjoon’s alone time is becoming less and less alone . Not that they need alone time, but Namjoon thinks that maybe it would be nice.

“Kang Jiyeon, age thirty-two, married to Kang Mingyu for the last seven years,” Jimin explains, pulling up a news article with a picture of Jiyeon and who Namjoon assumes to be her husband. Now that he gets a look at her husband, he recognizes seeing the face at dinner alongside her, but his appearance and outward attitude wasn’t anything that made him stand out to Namjoon.

“The Kang’s money is all from Mingyu’s family, though Mingyu is reported to have some leadership role within the company. A few years ago stocks began to drop for the company, but about a year ago they mysteriously went back up.”

“You think it had to do anything with Jiyeon?”

“Honestly, I wouldn’t have thought anything of it if she hadn’t pulled you two aside. The media hasn’t reported anything negative on her, and she doesn’t seem like she shies away from the camera like the typical suspicious person.” 

Namjoon frowns. “The way she talked last night made it sound like the husband didn’t know anything. I think it’s pretty safe to say she saw the company going under and got involved in some fishy business.”

Jimin raises his brows. “Fishy enough to potentially hire someone to kill our two gundealers?”

Namjoon hadn’t even considered it, but now that Jimin proposes the idea, it seems logical. But then another thought hits him.

“But she let us go last night,” he says, remembering the way Jiyeon had casually dismissed them from the room. He also remembers how reluctant her bodyguard had been. “Maybe the guard? She wasn’t too happy to see us walk out.” It seems a bit far-fetched, and Namjoon can’t imagine Jiwoo acting outside of Jiyeon’s orders, but he also remembers how trigger-happy the bodyguard had appeared. “Are we even sure it was the hitman? Maybe the guard just got a little excited when taking out the targets.”

“Uh, about that,” Jimin says, nose wrinkled. “The bad news is that a man matching the hitman’s description was spotted amongst the event guests.”

“Are we sure it’s him?” Namjoon thinks it’d be great if it wasn’t him. Not that having the additional stress of someone trying to kill them doesn’t sound like a blast to Namjoon, but he’s barely keeping up with acting like a married arms dealer in the midst of rich couples. The last thing he wants to be worrying about is keeping an eye out for someone who’s looking forward to shooting him.

“No, unfortunately there’s not that much information on his description,” Jimin admits with a frown. “At most, it’s a fair guess based on the assumption that he’s responsible for the death of Deimos and Phobos. But you’re right, it technically could’ve been someone else like Jiyeon’s guard.”

“It could be,” Namjoon agrees half-heartedly, because the sinking feeling in his gut is telling him that he’s not going to get off that easy. “So what’s the description of the hitman? What am I looking out for?”

Jimin hands the tablet over to Namjoon and leans over so he can fish his phone out of his back pocket. He pulls up the camera roll, which Namjoon immediately recognizes the pictures as all have been taken within the hotel. The set of photos Jimin chooses to focus on are of an unassuming middle-aged man who’s most notable features are his round belly and even rounder glasses.

“They call him Hitman Bang,” Jimin explains, scrolling through the photos he must’ve taken himself. Most of them are on the blurry side, shot from angles that suggest Jimin might’ve not been visible to any subjects in the photos. “You might not recognize him, he just arrived last night. The hotel swears they always allow people into events last minute, but I’d bet whichever wealthy guest hired the hitman had deep enough pockets to convince the hotel to take a last minute guest.”

“He doesn’t look like a hitman,” Namjoon admits, looking at the man’s profile. Maybe something about his face that suggests he always has another plan up his sleeve, but nothing particularly menacing about him. “And you said this guy matches our descriptions?”

Jimin shrugs. “That’s what the databases say. I wouldn’t take him too lightly, considering we’re assuming he’s responsible for hundreds of deaths.”

“Ah. Lovely. And I don’t suppose you’re just going to go in and bust him?”

Jimin laughs, high-pitched and soft, a delicate melady clashing with the morbid conversation. “Of course not. Not nearly enough evidence, according to Yoongi. Unless we can catch him and whoever he’s contacting, there’s no proof that he’s our man.”

Namjoon sighs. “Unless you catch him trying to kill us.”

“Well, Yoongi said not to mention that so it didn’t sound too much like he was trying to use you guys as bait. But yeah.”

Yoongi definitely wanted it to sound like he was trying to use Namjoon and Seokjin as bait, Namjoon knows that. Strangely enough, Namjoon doesn’t really get mad at the idea of Yoongi dangling his life out on the line for the sake of catching a criminal. Mostly because even though Namjoon’s technically dangling, Yoongi’s installed safety straps and mechanisms to make sure Namjoon doesn’t actually fall. It’s a similar situation with Seokjin, Namjoon supposes, except the safety straps are replaced with shere willpower and somehow Seokjin makes it work.

“Well, I’ll make sure to keep my eye out without alerting him,” Namjoon promises. “Can you send the pictures to me? I need to show Seokjin so he knows what he’s looking for as well.”

Jimin nods and backs out of the photo back to the camera roll, and is in the middle of selecting the photos he’s taken when Namjoon looks higher up on the camera roll and sees familiar faces he didn’t expect to see.

“You took pictures of hyung and me?”

Jimin stops what he’s doing and grins. “No?” He says before happily scrolling up to view the pictures. 

Like all the other pictures, they’re taken from around the hotel. Namjoon has to admit he’s impressed; none of the moments shown are moments he remembers seeing Jimin spying on them. Especially when Jimin scrolls past the pictures of them eating breakfast that first day, Namjoon really wonders how he missed his coworker mingling amongst the other guests. He voices his curiosity to Jimin.

“Hm, maybe you were distracted by other things?” Jimin suggests. He shrugs like he doesn’t know, but his smile and amused voice suggest otherwise. 

“Maybe,” Namjoon admits with a pout. “But it wasn’t my fault! I had a lot to think about!” The case, the fact that someone was potentially trying to kill them, Seokjin’s laugh when he successfully stole another item off Namjoon’s plate. Just a lot of things.

“I thought you weren’t really into the whole thinking thing, but if you say so,” Jimin says.

Namjoon shoves Jimin lightly, just enough to have the younger giggling as Namjoon insists that he’s actually very good at thinking. Maybe not as good as Seokjin is good at acting; the photos Jimin’s showing him almost make him feel like he’s not looking at himself and Seokjin but two completely different people. Or maybe Namjoon has never considered what the two of them look like from an outside perspective. Though that seems a bit far-fetched; even from a distance, there’s no way Seokjin’s teasing attitude could be mistaken as something so shy and flirty. And certainly Namjoon’s usual irritation doesn’t look like the sparkling eyes he’s seeing in the photos. He supposes he doesn’t give himself enough credit if his attempts at acting are shining through that much.

Namjoon sighs, handing the tablet back to Jimin. 

“I don’t suppose you have any good news?”

Jimin ponders it for a moment. “Uh, the company paid for my lunch?”

Namjoon groans, standing back up to leave because he’s not sure if he can handle any more news from Jimin.

But just before Namjoon gets ready to walk away, Jimin exclaims as if something dawned on him. 

Jimin slams his fist into the palm of his hand before telling Namjoon, “Oh, that’s right! You know the case in America you just got back from? Not only did we book our guys, but the local authorities were also able to catch their local guys thanks to you guys grabbing the briefcase. Apparently the whole operation is gonna be shut down.”

The case in America already seems like a million years ago, dodging bullets in a race to get to the car seeming almost unreal. Namjoon remembers how annoyed he was with Seokjin - an annoyance that always exists with memories of Seokjin. There’s also another feeling that goes along with the annoyance, but he can’t quite put his finger on it.

“Well, I hope this case goes just as well.” He could do without Seokjin putting both of them in danger for the sake of solving the case, but he also has a bad feeling things won’t stick to that plan.

“Oh, I’m not worried at all.” Jimin smiles. “After all, if it’s you and Seokjin-hyung, everything will work out just fine.”

As Namjoon walks away, Jimin shouts behind him, “and I’m not just talking about the case!” But Namjoon’s not sure what Jimin’s talking about, so he dismisses it and heads out.

 

+++

 

Namjoon heads back down in a hurry, unable to stifle a yawn. He eagerly makes his way back to the hotel room in hopes of being able to catch some more sleep.

But he only remembers that Jimin said Taehyung would be visiting the room a moment after he opens the door and he’s faced with Taehyung lying flat on the floor.

“Tae?”

Taehyung rolls over so that he’s on his back, waving to Namjoon with the swing of his foot into the air and letting it drop to the floor with a thud. “Hey hyung! How’ve you been?” The signal-blocker buzzes on the bedside table.

“I’ve been fine,” Namjoon says, walking over to where Taehyung is. “Why are you on the ground?”

“Just finished up installing a couple new cameras and dropped a screw.”

“Did you find the screw?”

“Oh, yeah. I’m honestly just too tired to get off the floor at this point.”

Namjoon snorts, but offers a hand to help lift Taehyung up. When Taehyung’s all the way up, he hugs Namjoon tightly before quickly letting go.

“I miss having you two around the office,” Taehyung admits. “Yoongi scolds us a lot more when Seokjin-hyung isn’t there to distract him with his shenanigans.”

Namjoon snorts. “Well, I can’t wait to be back,” Namjoon says, which is definitely true. Even with the luxurious amenities the hotel provides, Namjoon misses his bed back at home - even if it is a lot emptier.

Speaking of.

“Where’s hyung?”

“He said he was hungry so he went to get breakfast. He also mentioned that the rest of the bidders needed to approach you by today? I think he wanted to be available for people to approach him.”

Namjoon wrinkles his nose. “Damn, I wanted to go back to sleep - it’s way too early.”

Taehyung laughs. “Well, you could technically still go back to bed. I’m sure Seokjin-hyung would be fine if you took a thirty-minute nap or something.”

A thirty-minute nap sounds wonderful, and Namjoon’s eyelids feel heavy just at the thought. He looks over at the bed, covers lazily thrown back on top so that the bed’s not necessarily made, but it’s not a complete disaster either. But even with all the covers and pillows properly on the bed, it doesn’t look as inviting as Namjoon was picturing in his head as he hurried back to the room.

“If hyung’s not here, I won’t bother.” Taehyung wiggles his brows at Namjoon, who quickly corrects, “It’s the bed! It’s gonna be all cold now! I don’t want to sleep in a cold bed!”

“You do realize we have cameras in the room and know exactly how you guys fall asleep, right?”

“It’s cold!”

Taehyung sighs dramatically, rolling his eyes with the intent of Namjoon seeing.

“Hyung, the only thing cold is your heart,” Taehyung says, reaching out and bumping a fist to Namjoon’s chest. “You know, there’s no shame in admitting you find comfort in sharing a bed with Seokjin-hyung.”

“Hyung is a horrible person to share the bed with! He steals all the blankets.” Namjoon scrunches his nose at the thought of waking up the first night freezing cold in a bed without any sheets to cover him thanks to his partner. 

“Oh. You know, when Jimin was telling me he felt bad for Seokjin-hyung, I didn’t really get it. But I think I'm starting to.”

Namjoon shrugs. “Well, that makes one of us. Anyway, did hyung tell you where he went?”

 

+++

 

It feels like Namjoon’s the last guest to arrive for breakfast in the dining hall, having to squeeze between guests as he passes on the buffet line in favor of finding Seokjin. Finding Seokjin isn’t usually a problem Namjoon has because most times he finds Seokjin already at his side. But that’s not the case at the moment, and he searches the crowd for a head of bright blond hair until he spots Seokjin sitting at a table near the back. The first thing Namjoon notices is Seokjin’s wide smile, eyes squeezed shut and if he listens closely enough, he swears he can hear Seokjin’s squeaky laughter.

The second thing Namjoon notices is that Seokjin has company.

“Oh, it’s Namjoonie,” Seokjin says, waving him over. His smile widens, but now Namjoon’s more focused on the person sitting across from Seokjin. A man probably only a few years older, black hair slicked back and the first couple of buttons on his shirt undone. He’s leaned over the table, fingers brushing against where Seokjin’s hands are resting.

“Oh, Seokjin was just telling me about you,” the man says. He’s still far too close to Seokjin, Namjoon thinks, watching warily as the man leans even closer and Namjoon barely recognizes the step forward he takes to Seokjin’s side. Namjoon places a hand on Seokjin’s shoulder, relaxing when he feels Seokjin lean against him.

“I hope my husband only had good things to tell,” Namjoon says, noticing the way Seokjin fidgets at the word husband. It stings a little bit, but maybe Namjoon just imagined it, judging by the way Seokjin quickly corrects his expression and twists around his seat to flash Namjoon a teasing grin.

“I was just telling him about how loud you were snoring last night.”

Namjoon frowns. “I didn’t snore last night.”

Seokjin rolls his eyes. “That’s right, you snore every night.” Namjoon wants to say something about the fact that they’ve shared a bed only twice and therefore Seokjin lacks enough evidence to go as far as saying Namjoon is a habitual snore-er, but he unfortunately acknowledges that defending himself would mean blowing their cover. 

“You love me anyway,” Namjoon jokes, acutely aware of the mystery man across the table watching them. Seokjin must be too, face a little tense at Namjoon’s words as he probably thinks of an appropriate way to respond in front of company.

“I’d love you more if you stopped snoring,” Seokjin finally retorts, turning his head away from Namjoon so that Namjoon only catches a glance of Seokjin’s red cheeks. “And unless you planned on sitting in my lap, go grab a chair or something.”

Before Namjoon can even get over the mental image of sitting in Seokjin’s lap, the man (who Namjoon had completely forgotten in exchange for his brain being filled with thoughts of Seokjin’s thighs) speaks up.

“Oh, don’t worry about it, you can have my chair, I think my wife is looking for me anyway,” he says, standing up immediately after. “But I hope next time we get to talk for a little bit longer, I’d love to get to know you better.”

And he ends it all with a wink, which Namjoon definitely does not appreciate (even in comparison to his annoyance with Seokjin’s occasional winks - the frustration seems to stem from something else in each occasion). He doesn’t get the chance to glare at the man though before he dismisses himself and heads out to supposedly find his wife. 

“So. Who was that?”

“Park Minsoo, owner of a bunch of hotels, and avid lover of fine wines.”

“Do you know him or something? You guys seemed pretty friendly.” Identities of the man flit through Namjoon’s mind: a childhood friend, a past coworker, an ex-boyfriend? 

Seokjin tilts his head in confusion.

“Namjoon-ah, he’s a bidder.”

Oh. Well, that objectively makes a lot of sense. And to Namjoon, it’s a relief. One more bidder crossed off their list to find. He knew the guy was giving him bad vibes.

“So he’s not one of your ex’s or something?”

Definitely not the question Namjoon meant to ask, but it comes out with the internal sigh of relief. He can’t help it, really. He doesn’t know why it bothers him, and he certainly doesn’t know why he can’t get his brain or his mouth to shut up about it.

Seokjin chokes. “What would make you say that?”

“He was friendly with you, you were friendly with him.” And he was the type of guy Namjoon always pictured being good enough to date Seokjin - noticeably attractive and the confidence to go with it.

Seokjin looks surprised. “I knew he was a bidder the moment he approached me. I wanted to make sure he didn’t backout of the bidding, and he played nice, so I played nice back.”

Namjoon thinks about how close the man was leaning over, the beyond friendly smile he wore while reaching out. “Uh huh. He played nice . Sure.”

Seokjin blinks. And then he realizes what Namjoon’s trying to get at.

 “He has a wife! He told me about his kid!”

“Hyung, I know you still have that ‘ Number One Dad Fucker ’ trophy Yoongi bought you last year on your desk.”

Seokjin’s shock turns into laughter, leaning over so he’s practically folded over on Namjoon who still hasn’t taken the now empty seat across the table. “Well, it wouldn’t be right for me to deny the title so graciously given to me,” he says, wiping a tear from the corner of his eye. “And it’s not their fault! It’s a lot to ask them to resist,” he points to himself, “all of this.”

Namjoon rolls his eyes. “Of course. You better be prepared to send them an apology card for putting them through heartbreak.”

“Only if you add a little P.S note for your little act,” Seokjin says, wiggling his brows. “You play the role of a jealous husband pretty well, huh?”

Jealousy?

“Oh. Yeah, I do.” Was that jealousy? Had he really sunken into his role well enough that he was getting jealous over his fake-husband? The thought has Namjoon feeling flustered, because oh god that’s embarrassing. 

“You’ve gone pretty far into your undercover role, huh?”

Jimin’s words from earlier echo in his mind, and maybe Jimin’s right. His mind has become too occupied with trying to keep up with Seokjin’s acting, which is definitely his own fault, but he doesn’t see any bonus to admitting it.

He does take note of his hand still resting on Seokjin, migrated from his shoulder to the back of his neck, and promptly removes it. He doesn’t miss the way Seokjin’s gaze follows his hand as it drops to his side, and he doesn’t miss the subtle frown that follows. But Namjoon’s too busy thinking about his discussion with Jimin to worry about it any further.

“Jimin said our hitman is mixed in amongst the guests,” Namjoon says quietly, scanning the crowd for himself. Now that he’s aware that Jimin’s creeping around, he spots him easily in the hotel staff uniform weaving between the guests. “Have you noticed anything?”

“Oh, is it that man who’s been staring at me since he walked into the room?”

Namjoon’s eyes go wide for a millisecond before he remembers he’s dealing with Seokjin, so instead he just sighs and continues to look around for the hitman as he asks, “If you noticed, why didn’t you say anything?”

Seokjin grins. “Oh, I was thinking it was just the usual and he couldn’t stop staring at my handsome face.” His grin widens when Namjoon groans. “It’s the guy three tables down from us with the blue shirt and glasses, right?”

Following Seokjin’s directions, with a quick glance Namjoon confirms that the man that has supposedly been staring at Seokjin is definitely the same man Jimin showed Namjoon pictures of.

“Do you think he’d do anything in a crowded room?” Namjoon asks, biting his lower lip. He’s tempted to look back over at the hitman to try and judge his expression - maybe it’d give him a hint to what the hitman’s thinking. But he doesn’t want to risk being caught, so he continues facing Seokjin with a smile as if they’re having a completely normal conversation.

“Oh, now that’d be exciting!” Seokjin claps his hands together. “But honestly, I doubt it, since he’s such a low-profile guy. More likely he’d wait for us to be alone before doing anything.”

“If I were him, I’d wait until night when we were in our hotel room.”

“Yeah, I think so too,” Seokjin says. “Which is far too long to wait for him to make a move, so, fancy a walk outside?” The question finishes with Seokjin grabbing Namjoon’s hand and dragging him towards the closest exit before he can protest.

“Oh god, hyung, are you trying to get us shot?”

“Hey, maybe I’m just trying to romance you by taking you outside where we can have some alone time.”

“Or you're trying to get a hitman to follow and try to shoot us once he realizes we’re alone.”

“Damn, I didn’t think about that, but I love the suggestion! Top-tier romance to me!” Seokjin pushes the french doors open that lead to the patio outside and quickly tugs Namjoon outside so the door can shut behind them. He’s so much quieter when he adds, “And you know I’d never actually put you in danger, right?”

Namjoon swallows. “Yeah, I know.”

They stare at each other for a moment, and Namjoon watches something flicker in Seokjin’s eyes, lips pursed as he fights whatever internal battle he’s struggling with at the moment. 

“Well, that’s a bit silly of you to say, considering I’m quite literally trying to use you as live bait to catch our guy, but I do appreciate the faith!” Seokjin boops Namjoon’s nose and laughs. “C’mon, let’s see if he follows.”

It becomes very clear only a few minutes into their walk through the hotel’s garden that the hitman had no intentions of following them - or at least, not from what either of them can see. A few more minutes in Namjoon texts Jimin to see if he has eyes on the hitman - who reports back that he’s followed Hitman Bang back to the hotel room he has booked and the hitman hasn’t left since then.

However, even after Namjoon announces that it looks like there’s no purpose for their little walk, Seokjin continues to pull Namjoon along. There’s a lingering morning chill, but it’s nothing to notice over the warmth of Seokjin’s hand and every occasional step where their shoulders brush against each other.

“Can you believe we’re getting paid to be on vacation?” Seokjin asks. His eyes dart around the garden, appreciating the flowers that have bloomed. 

“I’m not really sure if I’d consider any situation where I’m in danger of being shot at a vacation,” Namjoon says. Which is true. But then he thinks about how peaceful the present moment is, just being able to enjoy the company of another person. He thinks about last night, he thinks about right now, he thinks about what else is going to happen as long as he’s holding Seokjin’s hand. “But yeah, I get it. Kind of amazing, huh?”

“Oh.” Seokjin stumbles his step, but manages a smooth recovery. Namjoon’s just impressed Seokjin managed to trip over nothing. “I mean, damn, maybe my fabulous influence is finally getting to you. Before you know it, you’ll finally agree that running away from gunfire is admittedly a little sexy.”

Hyung .”

Seokjin looks satisfied from Namjoon’s exasperated groan, laughing as he starts to lead them back to the hotel where the rest of the guests are. Namjoon’s a little sad - just for a moment - because once he realizes he’s a little sad, he tells himself not to be because obviously he has no reason to be sad.

“I vote we linger downstairs with everyone else in hopes that another bidder will approach,” Seokjin says. “That’s basically what happened with Park Minsoo this morning. I took a seat at the table and he joined me without any invitation.”

Namjoon frowns. “You think we should separate? Gives us twice as much ground to cover, and we might seem more approachable if it’s just the one of us.” He mostly means that Seokjin might look more approachable without him, but it hurts his ego too much to directly say it. 

“We probably should. But also, I don’t want to, so no?”

Namjoon can’t find it within himself to disagree.

They get back to the hotel a couple minutes later, where most of the guests have dispersed out of the dining room and headed over towards the lounge. A decent amount of them have pooled next to the bar, sipping away despite the time.

“Oh god, they’re all gonna be drunk by noon,” Namjoon blurts out, which scores another squeaky laugh from Seokjin.

“Maybe they’re just trying to get out of the afternoon activity,” Seokjin offers. “What’s next on the itinerary anyway?”

It takes Namjoon a second to remember. “Bingo, I think?

Seokjin groans. “Seriously, bingo ? Only five year olds and old people would get excited over that.”

Namjoon snorts. “Sounds perfect for you.”

“No way, fuck that!”

*** 

Seokjin jumps out of his seat in excitement as he declares his bingo to the entire afternoon group.

“Namjoon-ah, I’m so fucking good at this,” Seokjin informs Namjoon as they wait for the host of the event to come and check the bingo board. “I think I’m going to quit my job and become a full time professional bingo player.”

“Hyung, you realize this is all luck-based, right?” 

Seokjin narrows his eyes. “Nonsense. Did you see the way I commanded the bingo cage to roll out the correct set of numbers? One-hundred percent skill.”

Namjoon did see the way Seokjin glared at the host in charge of calling out the numbers every time he didn’t call out what Seokjin wanted him to, but he’s pretty sure he didn’t witness anything close to what Seokjin’s suggesting. 

It is impressive that out of the three rounds they’ve played so far, Seokjin’s won two of them. The second time he won, Namjoon noticed some of the guests glaring at them as Seokjin claimed another prize of some expensive bottle of wine. Of course, Namjoon doesn’t mind, more than content with everyone’s sore losing once he gets to see Seokjin’s wide smile as he happily accepts another bottle of wine.

“I’ll give this one to Yoongi,” Seokjin tells Namjoon once he puts the wine bottle down, settling back underneath Namjoon’s arm (which at some point has draped itself over Seokjin’s shoulders, something Namjoon didn’t even realize until Seokjin had casually pulled his arm back over).

The next round of bingo starts, and Seokjin starts bouncing in his seat when he hears the prize.

“Namjoon-ah, Namjoon-ah!” He’s practically vibrating. “I have to win this round.”

Namjoon has admittedly not actually been paying attention at all to the activities around him. He’s had more fun watching Seokjin win than anything, and even though he knows Jimin is still keeping an eye on the hitman with no report of him leaving his room, Namjoon can’t help but worry about it. Plus there’s the fact that they’re more than halfway through the day and there’s still two more bidders who’ve yet to approach them, and he’s starting to worry that they’ve dropped out of the bidding.

However, he takes a break from stressing to focus on Seokjin.

The moment Namjoon sees the prize, he laughs. It’s a stuffed animal that’s probably half the size of Seokjin himself, a fluffy white alpaca that looks far too kiddish to be the prize at such an exclusive event activity. From what Namjoon can tell, it also comes with some flowers and a giftcard to some fancy restaurant, but judging by the way Seokjin’s eyes haven’t left the stuffed animal, he doubts anything else is of concern to him.

Namjoon’s own bingo board has gone untouched the entire time, but he sees the determination in Seokjin’s eyes and decides it wouldn’t hurt to play at least one round. At least, he can help Seokjin glare at the host when he calls out the wrong numbers.

Five minutes into the round, Namjoon thinks he’s reached his Maximum Amount of Daily Glares. 

“This game is rigged,” Seokjin grumbles. The closest thing to a bingo Seokjin has on his board is only two tiles, which is why Namjoon has been dutifully glaring at the host (who is starting to look a little terrified of Seokjin and Namjoon). 

“You can’t give up hope yet,” Namjoon says just as the host calls out another number, and after a moment of searching on his board, Seokjin groans again, leaning against Namjoon with all his weight.

“Oh god, the fucking American almost has a bingo. Namjoon-ah, what’d I do to deserve this?” Seokjin whines. “Text Jimin and tell him to tell the hitman that I want to hire him, I have a competitor I’d like to take out of the competition.”

The host calls out the next number, and Seokjin watches in horror as the American (Namjoon really needs to find out what his name is) places another marker down, putting him only one away from getting a bingo. 

“Namjoon, I think I’m gonna have to kill him.”

Namjoon looks down at his board.

“Could you at least wait a moment? I have a prize to claim.”

Seokjin blinks, staring at Namjoon. “What?

And then Namjoon puts the marker on the newly called out number, creating a straight line across his board.

“Bingo.”

Namjoon’s ninety-nine percent sure everyone heard him, but that doesn’t stop Seokjin from yelling it out again, shaking Namjoon in excitement. His eyes sparkle.

“Namjoon-ah! You did it!”

And like that, Seokjin leans over, and kisses Namjoon.

“Now go get my prize, please,” he says with a grin, and Namjoon’s stumped. Because usually he’d be more than ready to explain to Seokjin that the prize actually belongs to him , but despite the briefness of the kiss compared to the night before, paired with Seokjin’s bright smile, it’s the most flustered Namjoon’s found himself yet. Certainly flustered enough to forget all attempts of a protest as he goes to grab the prize. 

Once Seokjin gets his hands on the plushie, he hugs it tightly against his chest. Namjoon’s not sure who’s cuter: the plushie or Seokjin.

But before he has time to debate it over, his phone begins to ring, and he picks up immediately when he sees Jimin’s caller ID.

“What’s up?” Namjoon asks as he picks up, already scanning the room for anything suspicious. “Did your friend leave you?”

“No, he’s still in the hotel room,” Jimin reassures Namjoon. “But I’ve got eyes in the room and just watched him pick up his phone and I think he’s about to make a call - I’m assuming to whoever hired him. Are any of the guests on their phones?”

Namjoon first locates all of their known bidders. Jiyeon is standing next to her husband but far more interested in talking to her guard. The Sons are quiet, but neither of them are on a phone. Namjoon’s only a little disappointed when he spots Park Minsoo and his wife cheerfully talking without a phone in sight. Even the American that Namjoon’s pretty sure is one of their bidders doesn’t seem to have anything on him.

He looks across the rest of the room. He’d taken a head count earlier, and all the guests were present, and from what he can tell no one’s slipped out of the room to take a phone call.

“Jimin, I don’t see anything. Is he still on the phone?”

“Yeah, I think the call’s going to voicemail though. He sounds pissed about it. But he’s definitely talking to whoever hired him, I’m really hoping he’ll drop a name, or at least a hint-”

There’s a loud crashing sound from Jimin’s side of the call that startles Namjoon (and Seokjin, who’s effectively been leaning against Namjoon to be able to listen to the call as well).

“Jimin, what’s going on? Jimin?”

Shit, backup head in, head in, I’ll be over as soon as I can - Namjoon, give me a second, I’ll call you back. Our cameras just went out.”

Seokjin stands up, and Namjoon wordlessly follows his lead as they discreetly leave the room. Once they’re out of the eyes of everyone else, they start running as fast as they can upstairs where they know the hitman’s room is.

They arrive just in time to watch Jimin walk out of the room with a grim expression, and blood on his clothes.

“Jimin?” 

Jimin shakes his head. “You two are gonna have to go look for yourselves.”

Namjoon already knows exactly what he’s going to see when he walks inside, but it doesn’t stop him from feeling utterly lost when he goes in the room and looks at the scene in front of him.

The crime scene in front of him.

In front of him, Namjoon and Seokjin are greeted by the site of the hitman, their only lead, dead on the ground - while being the personal eye-witness testimony for any suspects they might’ve had.

 

Chapter Text

“You didn’t see anyone leave the room?”

Like normal, Seokjin is tucked behind Namjoon as they look at the body of their hitman on the ground. Most of their view is blocked by Hoseok and Jungkook who just arrived a few minutes ago, now properly examining the body. While Namjoon tries to get an idea of what they’re looking at, Seokjin asks Jimin more questions about what went down.

Jimin has had a permanent frown stuck on his face ever since Seokjin and Namjoon arrived. He looks tired, sitting back on Taehyung who reassuringly pats his leg.

“Our view on the victim’s room was from two cameras. The front door, which was provided from the hotel’s pre-installed security cameras that cover the hallway, was knocked out which was what cued us to run to the room.”

“But you had eyes in the room, right?” Namjoon asks, clearly remembering Jimin saying that he could see the hitman on the phone. Not that he has much hope in whatever viewpoint Jimin had, judging by Jimin’s lack of enthusiasm.

“From the opposite building, we had a view into the room’s window. Nothing clear, just enough to catch silhouettes. I’ll send you guys the footage we have from the actual attack, but you can’t see much more than the fact that there’s a second person in the room.” Jimin sighs. “By the time we rushed to the room, whoever had gone in was long gone.”

Jimin’s lips press into a tight line, and Namjoon watches his knuckles turn white as he squeezes his hands into small fists. “I was so focused on if anyone was coming out of the room that I didn’t even consider someone going in. Relying on the hotel’s cameras was a mistake, it was definitely too easy to spot and an easy target to knock out. If I would’ve just-”

Seokjin steps forward, passing by Namjoon and taking a seat on top of Jimin. Taehyung, who’s now underneath both of them, grunts but happily extends his arms to wrap around Seokjin as well so he doesn’t fall out of Jimin’s lap.

“Now, I just know you aren’t trying to accuse my favorite mochi of making mistakes,” Seokjin says, pinching Jimin’s cheek. Jimin groans, but his hands slap away Seokjin half-heartedly, leaning into Seokjin’s touch as Seokjin switches from pinching to gently ruffling Jimin’s hair. “You must have an audio, right? If you were able to hear the phone call.”

Jimin nods. “I got a bug on him earlier in the evening, but it was on his jacket that he must’ve taken off because the sound was really muffled. I’ll send you the audio as well, and I’ve got the tech team looking into it to see if they can mess around with it and find anything good.”

“See, you’ve got it all figured out,” Seokjin tells Jimin with a wink, patting the younger’s head one more time before standing up. He looks at Namjoon, generally waving at where Hoseok and Jungkook are examining the body. “Should we go see what they’ve found?”

Namjoon knows it’d make more sense if they simply split up, Seokjin continuing to question Jimin’s side of the story while Namjoon goes and gets information on the body. He knows this, but somehow his hand reaches out to grab Seokjin’s in a way that’s so natural he doesn’t even notice until Seokjin is looking at him with wide eyes (and maybe Jimin and Taehyung are too, but Namjoon’s mind is much less interested in Jimin and Taehyung and much more interested in Seokjin. After all, his partner’s reaction is the most important, right?)

“Oh,” Namjoon mumbles, staring at their intertwined hands. It’s not like it’s anything new now, but then it hits Namjoon that they’re in front of their team, they’re not undercover, they’re just normal Seokjin and Namjoon and normal Seokjin and Namjoon don’t hold hands. Which is unfortunate, Namjoon thinks. Seokjin has nice hands. They’re nice to hold. A part of him is disappointed he can’t just hold Seokjin’s hand all of the time - but that’s not what partners do, he supposes. 

“Namjoon-ah?”

Oh. Namjoon must’ve spaced out, because now Seokjin’s staring at him with furrowed brows and an overall look of concern and Namjoon must’ve spent too much time acting as Seokjin’s husband because the whole picture is cute and Namjoon’s endeared.

Namjoon shakes his head. Thinks about kissing Seokjin. Wait, no, wrong. He’s thinking about the case! The dead body on the other side of the room! The potential culprits! Seokjin’s soft hands! Wait-

Seokjin is still staring at Namjoon, waiting for a response, and all Namjoon can do is look down at their hands again, Seokjin’s soft hands still on his mind. He wonders if Seokjin knows how soft his hands are. He wonders if his own hands feel rough and gross in comparison.

Seokjin’s still staring.

“Do you think my hands are nice?” Namjoon asks, because now he’s worried. He thinks it’d be nice if Seokjin enjoyed holding his hand as much as Namjoon enjoys holding his. Though he can’t imagine why Seokjin would have any interest in holding Namjoon’s hand.

Confirming his suspicions, after Seokjin squeaks, he quickly retracts his hand away from Namjoon. He doesn’t completely pull away though, using his now free hand to slap Namjoon’s shoulder, and then push him towards where Hoseok and Jungkook are.

“Let’s go get some info on our victim, yeah?” His voice is strained, and behind him Jimin’s collapsed on top of Taehyung in fits of laughter and Namjoon wonders if he missed the joke.

They approach where Jungkook and Hoseok are leaning over the body, walking to the other side so they can get an actual look at the body. Or at least, Namjoon gets a proper look at the body, hyperaware of the hand resting on his side and the scent of Seokjin’s shampoo as Seokjin hooks his chin on Namjoon’s shoulder.

“Looks like a stabbing,” Namjoon says, studying the gash across the carotid, blood still damp on where it’s spilled on the neck and onto the floor.

Hoseok grins. “If you’re going to do my job, then am I free to go home?”

Namjoon rolls his eyes but can’t help but smile. “No, because I need you to tell me what kind of weapon it was. What am I looking for, Hobi?” Jimin already told them no weapon was found in the room, which means they’re going to have to look for it.

“A knife, and judging by the depth of the wound, no more than a five-inch blade. Probably a pocketknife of sorts,” Jungkook explains. “We haven’t checked everything yet, but it probably isn’t inflicted from any of the weapons belonging to our victim.

“It seems like everyone’s out to do my job,” Hoseok says with a huff. “We’ll take him back to do a proper autopsy, but I’m not exactly sure what you’re hoping for me to find. We’ve already got time of death, and I can’t give anything more on the weapon.”

“We’ll trust you to find something,” Seokjin says. “You always do.”

“Hopefully,” Hoseok says, standing back up. “I’m going to go ahead and prepare the body for transport, but it looks like Taehyung and Jimin want to talk to you guys some more before you go.”

Seokjin finishes getting a full report on the body from Jungkook, and Namjoon turns back to Jimin and Taehyung. But not before properly sliding his hand over Seokjin’s shoulders, offering a light squeeze as Seokjin takes notes on what Jungkook reports to him.

“Do you guys have any suspects?” Taehyung asks.

Namjoon shakes his head. “No, we were in the room with everyone else when everything went down. As far as I know, all the guests were present, which means all of our suspects have an alibi.”

Taehyung wrinkles his nose. “Of course. Are you sure you weren’t just missing someone? After all, you haven’t figured out all the bidders yet. Maybe it was one of them.”

Namjoon considers the point before shaking his head again. “No, I’m pretty sure everyone was there, bidder or not. I think there’s a camera in the room that probably has a recording more accurate than my memory, so I definitely would double-check with that.”

Jimin scribbles a note on a paper that looks suspiciously like an old takeout menu. “Okay, got it.” He stares at his scribbled note for a moment, and sighs. “This would’ve been so much easier if I just caught the guy instead of letting him escape.”

With one hand wrapped around Jimin’s waist, Taehyung uses his free hand to jab Jimin’s side, causing Jimin to jump in his seat (which just happens to be Taehyung, still securing him tightly to his lap). “C’mon, we already know that it’s most likely that whoever hired our hitman is our culprit - they’re the only one who would’ve known who our hitman was, after all. We’re not any farther behind in the case than we were before, and on the bright side, now Seokjin and Namjoon-hyung don’t need to stress about having a target on their backs.”

Taehyung makes a good point. Even with all of their investigation, with the hitman gone, they’ve lost their only lead -not that they had much of a lead to begin with. But it does feel nice that Namjoon doesn’t have to worry about the hitman attacking them. There’s just one thing that bugs him.

“Whoever killed the hitman must’ve had an easy way to access the front door if he got in so quickly,” Namjoon says, recalling how quickly the camera in the hallway went out, and how long it took Jimin and the others to get there and discover the dead body. There wouldn’t have been time to convince the hitman to open the door, and there wasn’t any sign of the door being broken down.

“Well, if the killer was the one who booked the room for the hitman, there’s a chance they had a keycard for the room as well. But we’ll definitely check in with the hotel and see if there’s an electronic record of who’s unlocked the door. The hotel isn’t on that new of a system, so I can’t guarantee anything.”

Namjoon reassures Jimin that it’s okay if they can’t find anything, especially since Namjoon doesn’t feel like he’s found anything either. He feels silly, not being able to do anything with the information presented at the crime scene. The culprit, most likely the bidder who hired the hitman, can’t be a professional killer if they had to go as far as hiring a hitman, right? So it should be an easy case for Namjoon and the rest of the team to solve. But somehow they’ve let their culprit slip right past their fingers, and they have another dead body on their hands.

Namjoon sighs, and mumbles some reassuring statements to Taehyung and Jimin, because the last thing they need is for team morale to drop. Besides, it’s Namjoon and Seokjin’s case; they’re the ones undercover and in charge of investigation. It’s Namjoon’s job to bear the weight of the case, not Taehyung and Jimin. 

The weight on his shoulders is more apparent than ever, and his eyes flicker to Seokjin.

“Okay, I’ll be heading out now,” Hosek announces, watching the crew discreetly take the body out. As far as they know, everyone is still at bingo, which means they’ll be able to sneak the body out without alerting anyone of the crime scene. The last thing they need is the whole event to be cancelled and for everyone to go home. Then they’ll really never find their killer.

“And is my lovely assistant finally done with his report?” Hoseok asks, voice raised loud enough so Jungkook (who’s currently clinging his arms around Seokjin’s neck so he can stay on his back) can hear him.

Hoseok has to repeat the question when Jungkook doesn’t respond, this time paired with a glare he meets Jungkook with when the younger finally looks over with a goofy grin - but Namjoon knows there’s no actual mean intent from Hoseok. Namjoon’s pretty sure none of them actually have it within them to be annoyed with Jungkook. There’s only Being Endeared by Jungkook and Being Endeared by Jungkook Even if He’s Being a Brat.

“Oh, I was just getting to the part where I noticed that Seokjin’s shampoo is different!” Jungkook announces with a bright smile. From behind him, Seokjin suddenly stands up straight, eyes wide. Jungkook still hangs off of him, feet dangling a few inches above the ground.

“No it’s not-”

Namjoon cuts off Seokjin’s protests, probably more excited than he should be. “I know, right?” Namjoon thinks about the scent of Seokjin’s hair, just slightly off from its normal floral scent. “He says it’s the hotel shampoo but it smells familiar, doesn’t it?”

Jungkook stares at Namjoon blankly for a second, before he falls into laughter on top of Seokjin - whose face is turning redder and redder.

“You really don’t recognize it?”

Namjoon frowns. “Should I?” Was it a shampoo Seokjin used to use? Or maybe it’s a popular brand that Namjoon isn’t familiar with. 

Jungkook looks at Seokjin. Seokjin’s glare only seems to amuse Jungkook even more, and he pats Seokjin’s shoulder reassuringly before turning back to Namjoon.

“I mean, you should, considering it’s your shampoo.”

Oh.  

Now that Jungkook says it, Namjoon’s finally able to identify the scent of Seokjin’s shampoo - it’s the same honey-based shampoo that Namjoon’s been using for over a year now. 

Hyung ,” Namjoon whines. He feels like there’s Too Many Eyes looking at him at the moment which makes him kind of want to curl in on himself. But first, he’s more focused on glaring at Seokjin. “You can’t just be stealing my stuff all the time!”

Like every other time Namjoon calls Seokjin out, he expects Seokjin to match his glare with a goofy grin and say something along the lines of the shampoo smelling better on him anyway (which, infuriatingly enough to Namjoon, it does. How was he supposed to recognize it smelled so differently on Seokjin from when Namjoon lathers it in his own hair?)

So Namjoon is more than surprised to not find Seokjin looking at him at all, eyes glued to the ground and fingers fumbling in front of him. And as the good detective Namjoon is, he’s able to interpret all of that plus the partially-hidden blush of Seokjin’s cheeks as guilt , which means Seokjin feels bad about stealing Namjoon’s shampoo. Or at least about getting caught. Which in turn, makes Namjoon feel horrible because it’s not like he really minds it when Seokjin takes his stuff. 

“You could’ve just said that you like it,” Namjoon mumbles, not sure how to handle Seokjin like this.

Seokjin sputters. “ Like ?”

“The shampoo.”

Seokjin sighs in relief. “The shampoo. Yeah. I like the shampoo.”

“The shampoo, he likes the fucking shampoo!” Jimin loudly groans, completely flopping over on Taehyung.

“It’s a good smelling shampoo,” Jungkook admits, getting on his tip-toes and smelling Seokjin’s hair again (and Namjoon notes how little Seokjin reacts compared to the times Namjoon has done the same thing). “Is yours any better?”

Jungkook is on a roll now, and while Hoseok is impatiently staring at Jungkook walk over to Jimin and Taehyung, Seokjin looks more than happy to follow behind him and Namjoon is too busy Being Endeared by Jungkook Even if He’s Being a Brat.

Strangely enough, Jungkook, Jimin and Taehyung are all pretty good friends despite the fact that their work day doesn’t overlap that often. So it’s not too weird to see Jungkook happily join the pile of Jimin and Taehyung, plopping down on Jimin’s leg and happily sniffing his hair before sniffing Taehyung’s a moment later. 

He looks up with a wrinkled nose. “Actually, Taehyung and Jimin also smell pretty similar-”

“-Wow, I can’t believe both of you guys were able to notice the change in Seokjin-hyung’s shampoo!” Jimin exclaims, clapping his hands together in front of him as he shoves Jungkook off. “I definitely didn’t notice at all.”

Jungkook grumbles from the ground, but Hoseok laughs. “Well, Kookie has a sensitive nose. I’m not surprised that he noticed.”

Namjoon frowns. “I don’t have a sensitive nose, and I noticed.”

Hoseok doesn’t look impressed.

“Well, it was about Seokjin. Of course you noticed.”

Namjoon knows Hoseok is trying to make a point, and he’s more than happy to completely ignore it, sending Hoseok and Jungkook off in promise of not sending them any more bodies.

They head off along with the rest of the crime scene crew, and a few minutes of packing up later it’s only Namjoon, Seokjin, Taehyung and Jimin left in the room.

“Is there anything we can help with?” Namjoon asks after a glance at his watch. “We already ditched the last event and have a bit of free time if you need something.” What he doesn’t mention is that besides the freetime, he feels incredibly guilty about having nothing to offer.

“Well, just make sure to act normal when you go back to everyone. We need to pretend like nothing ever happened or else they’re going to cancel the whole event and the entire operation will go under,” Taehyung says.

“Won’t they notice one of the guests is missing?” Namjoon asks.

Taehyung shrugs. “There’s so many guests, and he’s a late arrival. The only person who’s more observant of his disappearance than us is whoever his killer is. If anything, if a guest says something, that’ll make them a top-priority suspect.”

Namjoon nods. “Alright. Anything else?”

“Taehyung and I are going to check with the hotel receptionists to see if we can see who else might’ve had access to a card to get into the room with. Plus, we need to get access to the footage from the room everyone was in during the murder. Make sure no one made a sneaky exit,” Jimin says.

“What about the weapon? You guys said you didn’t find anything, right?” Namjoon remembers the quick report Jimin had given them upon entering the room. No weapon to be found, even after checking any nearby garbages. “There's no way the killer didn’t take it with them.”

“We can look for it,” Seokjin volunteers, and Namjoon whips his head around to stare at his partner in disbelief. 

“Do we have to?” Namjoon isn’t a rookie detective, so he knows exactly what looking for the weapon means. “I mean, we don’t want to accidentally blow our cover.”

Seokjin shrugs. “We won’t. The faster we cover more ground, the better. Taehyung and Jimin are the only ones who can ask the receptionist for info without blowing cover, and because we just skipped the last event, we have plenty of time to help out.”

Seokjin usually isn’t the type to volunteer for things, which makes Namjoon think he’s not the only one experiencing guilt over letting the murder happen.

“Well, if you don’t mind,” Jimin says, and despite his nonchalant tone, his shoulders relax in a way that makes all of Namjoon’s reluctance go away.

Seokjin grins. “Of course we don’t.” And then he pulls out the plushie that’s been tucked under his arm ever since they arrived at the crime scene. “Just let me drop my stuff off, and we’ll get to work.

+++

 

“If I were a murder weapon, where do you think I’d hide?” Seokjin asks.

Compared to the crisp Spring weather they had been having, the sun shines brightly today and radiates enough heat that Namjoon’s been forced to roll his sleeves up and carry Seokjin’s jacket (which is actually his jacket) which has been long since abandoned.

“Uh, wherever the murderer threw me?” Namjoon offers. “Or maybe the weapon didn’t get dumped at all and we’re looking for nothing. Maybe the killer ran off with the weapon.”

Seokjin shakes his head. “Unless it’s the unlikely situation where the killer isn’t one of the guests attending the event, most likely the killer dumped the weapon off somewhere. Bringing it back to their hotel room would basically be an invitation to be arrested.”

Namjoon groans because he knows Seokjin’s right, but as they continue walking outside the hotel and he realizes where Seokjin is leading them, the more he’s determined to end their weapon search. Or at least let someone else do it for them.

“We know the killer had to run out of there pretty fast, if Jimin and the others didn’t catch sight of him. The chances they got blood on their clothes is high, so I think that it’s likely they went back to their hotel room first to clean up.”

“And then maybe they just threw away the weapon in a bin in their room. Maybe they washed it off and buried it in their suitcase or something.”

“Maybe,” Seokjin says, his smile suggesting he’s entertained with Namjoon’s attempts to deflect where Seokjin’s leading them to. “But I’m thinking if our killer was smart enough to disable the cameras and attack the victim while everyone else was at bingo, then our killer was smart enough to know that leaving the weapon in their room and having it be discovered would be game-over evidence against them.”

“Which is why,” Seokjin says, grinning widely when they finally reach their destination, “I think the weapon is most likely to be in here.” And he taps the metal sides of the garbage disposal, and Namjoon tries not to gag at the pungent smell.

“Hyung, the bin is huge. And full. How the Hell are we supposed to find a knife within all that?”

Seokjin simply smiles.

“Hyung. I hope you’re not suggesting what I think you’re suggesting,” Namjoon says warily, but Seokjin has already thrown the lid open, stepping on his tiptoes to get a proper look inside the garbage bin. He puts his hands flat on the top of the bin and tries to lift himself up, but it’s slightly too high and he falls back to the ground a second later.

And then he gestures at Namjoon. “C’mon, boost me up and then I’ll help pull you up.”

“These are my nice clothes!”

Seokjin clicks his tongue. “I’m wearing nice clothes too, but sometimes we just have to make sacrifices, Namjoon-ah.”

“Yeah, you’re wearing nice clothes, which are also my nice clothes.”

“And don’t they look good on me!” Seokjin proudly spins around, and Namjoon can’t disagree but he’s certainly not going to verbalize any sort of agreement. “Now come on, help boost me up, we don’t have all day.”
Namjoon groans. “We don’t even know if the weapon is in there.”

“True, but we also don’t know if it’s not in there, which gives us all the more reason to look,” Seokjin says. “Plus, we can’t just stand around all day.”

“Says who?”

Seokjin laughs, but persists. “C’mon, just pretend we’re criminal investigators and we’re searching the trash to solve a murder!”

“Hyung, we are criminal investigators.”

Seokjin claps. “See, you’ve already nailed the role. Now boost me up?”

Namjoon knows there’s no winning the argument, and acknowledges the fact that finding the weapon is an important task. Still, it doesn’t make him any less reluctant to grab Seokjin by the legs and lift him up as Seokjin pushes himself up, and into the garbage bin. There’s an unnerving squishing sound that follows Seokjin’s landing, and Namjoon refuses to think about it as he lets Seokjin pull him in to join.

The landing is rough, and rather than landing on his feet Namjoon’s momentum causes him to fall directly onto Seokjin, and they both topple over. 

Namjoon can feel that his hand has landed on some sort of undistinguishable food product, and he’s so glad he can ignore all that to look at Seokjin instead. “Whoops?”

Seokjin smirks. “You know, I like it dirty, but even this is a little too much for me.”

Someone’s leftover breakfast on his hand long forgotten, Namjoon immediately stands up, taking a few steps back from Seokjin. He only hesitates for a moment before wiping his hand off on his pants and praying that any weird staining or smells will come out in the wash.

Seokjin hums quietly as they both start sorting through the garbage. Namjoon would join in, but he’s been told more than once that he's unable to control his volume while singing (by everyone in the team whenever they have karaoke night) and the last thing Namjoon wants is to attract attention to their dumpster diving expedition. Namjoon’s not really sure how he’d explain what they’re doing without blowing their cover, anyway. He supposes he could blow it off as a strange need to fornicate in the public dumpster, but he thinks he'd rather have people know his cover rather than them thinking he’s that dirty-minded.

“Doesn’t it remind you of the good ol’ days when you were just my little newbie?” Seokjin says a few minutes in, wiping sweat from his forehead with the one patch of clean cloth he has on his shirt sleeve. “Remember, when I-”

“Made me search through the garbage knowing very well I didn’t need to?” Namjoon does remember that day, remembers it horrendously well. “I hope you’re not trying to tell me this is a similar situation?”

Seokjin’s squeaky laughter forces Namjoon to face the other way so Seokjin can’t see his smile. “I told you, it was a bonding experience! Don’t tell me you didn’t enjoy yourself!”

“Nope. Not at all, actually.”

Seokjin has the nerve to look offended, even if it’s only jokingly.

The search takes over an hour, ending when Namjoon almost stabs himself as he pulls on a loose towel in the pile and as it unravels a bloodied knife comes flying out. The only reason he doesn’t manage to cut himself on it is his attempts to catch it without thought are unsuccessful as the knife falls a few inches past his outreached hands.

“Uh. I found it?”

After Seokjin reassures himself that Namjoon isn’t injured anyway, he helps the younger out of the garbage disposal before reaching over to carefully grab the knife, wrapping it up in the same towel Namjoon found it in. He does a quick sweep of any items nearby to discredit them as unimportant before handing the bundled weapon to Namjoon and joining him on the ground.

“Looks like it was wrapped up in one of the hotel’s towels,” Seokjin says once he gets a better look at the towel. “The killer couldn’t have done me a favor and wrapped it up in a personal shirt or something that was completely unique to them, huh? They just had to pick the thing that literally every hotel guest has access to.”

“Are we sure it’s the murder weapon?”

“Well, there technically is always the possibility that there’s a random bloody knife hidden in the garbage that just happens to be the exact size of the estimated murder weapon size. But I doubt it, and I’m sure one of the lab techs can help match the blood on the weapon to our victim.”

“What are the chances of us finding fingerprints?” Namjoon asks, even though he already knows the answer is around absolutely zero , because not only is Namjoon’s luck not that good, they’ve already confirmed that the killer they're working with isn’t an ameatur. There’s no way they weren’t wearing gloves.

“Well, zero until we get the evidence back to the team,” Seokjin jokes as he pulls an evidence bag out of his pocket (which is something Namjoon hadn’t even thought of bringing when Seokjin dragged him out here) and stuffs the towel and knife in it together.

“But first, I need a shower, ASAP. So,” Seokjin grins, “I call dibs.”

“You can’t call dibs on the shower!” Namjoon protests.

“Oh? Says who?”

“Me, when I get there first!”

And Namjoon takes off running, laughing as Seokjin complains about having to carry the evidence.

 

+++



The moment Namjoon hears the hotel room door shut behind them and his privacy is insured, he quickly begins stripping off his shirt as he rushes to the bathroom. He’s breathing heavily, doing his best to not let Seokjin pass him, and he throws the bundled up shirt back at Seokjin (and laughs at the shout of protest that quickly follows the thump of the shirt most likely hitting Seokjin).

It’s a few stumbled steps into the en suite bathroom, and a few more steps after that until Namjoon finds himself slamming against the glass door of the shower. He barely notices though, one hand unbuckling his pants to slide them down while the other hand properly opens the shower door and he slips in, finally turning around to smile triumphantly at Seokjin who’s only a few steps behind Namjoon.

Seokjin has come to a halt, Namjoon’s shirt that he threw at him held tightly in Seokjin’s hands. He’s not nearly as out of breath as Namjoon is, but the longer Namjoon stares the redder and redder Seokjin’s face becomes, so he must be a little tired from all that running.

“I’ll make my shower quick,” Namjoon promises, deciding that as much as he wants to gloat about his win, that would be a very Seokjin-like move and Namjoon does definitely Not Want To Do That. Also, he’s now stripped down to his boxers, and while they’re luckily hole-free, they also aren’t the kind of thing Namjoon wants to be showing off either.

“Namjoon-ah, be a good dongsaeng and let your hyung shower first,” Seokjin insists as he walks into the shower as if he’s going to stare-off with Namjoon, but his gaze isn’t meeting Namjoon’s at all. “Besides, you’re definitely the kind of person who takes five-hour long showers.”

This is a true accusation, but only when Namjoon knows he has enough privacy to openly sing in the shower. With Seokjin less than an earshot away, there’s no reason for Namjoon to take anything but a speedy shower, so he holds his ground firm.

“Hyung, I’m showering first, so I’m going to turn the water on now,” Namjoon threatens. He’s still wearing his underwear, but Seokjin’s still fully dressed and probably a lot more reluctant to get wet.

Seokjin narrows his eyes at Namjoon, glancing at the shower knob Namjoon’s hand rests on. At first, Namjoon thinks Seokjin is trying to determine if he needs to call Namjoon’s bluff or not, but a moment later Seokjin reaches forward, puts his hand on top of Namjoon’s, and twists the knob and the shower water comes crashing down on both of them.

“I guess we’re both taking a shower, then,” Seokjin says triumphantly, though it’s hard for Namjoon to see Seokjin as victorious when his entire outfit is soaked and his blond hair is plastered to his forehead.

For a moment, they simply stare at each other, Namjoon almost obsessed with how the water runs down Seokjin's skin; he watches as a single drop trails from Seokjin's forehead, down his cheek, done, his neck, down his shirt…

Namjoon stops watching and looks back at Seokjin, who's also just finished looking down at his soaked clothing. They stare, expressions blank.

And then they both break out into laughter.

"Hyung, you look ridiculous," Namjoon says between giggles, covering his mouth with his hand.

Seokjin pouts, and grabs Namjoon's hand and tugs it away from his face.

"First of all, I never look ridiculous, unless it's involved in being ridiculously handsome. Second of all, if you're going to laugh at me, at least let hyung see your cute smile when you do so."

Namjoon doesn't have anything to say to that except for tucking his chin in, aware of the small layer of fat that doubles up underneath his chin, but much more aware of the fact that Seokjin's holding onto his hand and they're standing in a shower and Namjoon doesn't have any pants on. In fact, he's painfully aware of the fact, shaking off Seokjin's hand and turning around so he doesn't have to face Seokjin.

"Whatever," Namjoon huffs, definitely not thinking about Seokjin calling his smile cute. He hooks one finger around the waistband of his boxers before making the split-second decision to shower with them on and consider it multi-tasking involving showering and doing the laundry at the same time.

"Wait, you're really not going to get out of the shower?"

"I'm already wet, might as well shower now rather than wait outside wet and catch a cold," Namjoon says, already reaching for his shampoo. "Plus, the shower is big enough for the both of us anyway."

"No, it's definitely not," Seokjin says with a squeak, which baffles Namjoon because isn't Seokjin the one who turned the water on both of them to begin with? "I think I'll just wait outside."

"Hyung, you and your clothes-" which are Namjoon's clothes, Namjoon painfully remembers, "-are already soaking wet. You'll catch a cold if you get out now."

Namjoon peaks over his shoulder to see Seokjin's reluctant face, and he sighs. "Hyung, it's not like we haven't showered together before."

Seokjin grins at the memory (which must be very different from Namjoon’s memory of that day), finally relaxing. "Today really is like déjà vu, huh?" 

Namjoon can't find the right words to respond with, but Seokjin's right; it really feels like slowly, Namjoon's being sent back to his first couple of days with Seokjin.

Once Namjoon sees Seokjin grab the bottom of his shirt and start to lift up, he promptly turns around, more than happy to exist in the complete opposite side of the shower as Seokjin, or at least as far as he can stand without leaving the warmth of the shower head.

He's rinsing out the shampoo in his hair when he hears a quiet "oh," from Seokjin's direction, and he turns to see what the problem is. He's met with Seokjin facing the shelf where he just grabbed his shampoo bottle from a few minutes ago, hand reached out to a now empty spot on the shelf.

Seokjin must realize Namjoon's staring, because he turns around to face Namjoon, and his eyes narrow in on the bottle of shampoo in Namjoon's hand. His lips still form a small 'o', and the heat of the hot shower water has his cheeks painted pink.

"I was just-" Seokjin starts, but the words die in his mouth and Namjoon's not really sure what he's missing out until he sees the blush continue to crawl up to the tips of Seokjin's ears and the smell of fresh honey overcomes him and. Oh. Maybe the blush isn't from the hot water.

"I told you, you could've just asked," Namjoon mumbles, and he hands the shampoo bottle over to Seokjin. If Seokjin likes the scent, Namjoon is happy to share it with him. In fact, he's admittedly a little  happy that Seokjin likes his shampoo, especially since Seokjin has shown a strong preference for floral scented shampoos over the years Namjoon has known him.

"Oh, I don't-" Seokjin can't seem to finish his sentences, sighing after he hopelessly flops his hands at his sides. "It's fine, I can just use the hotel's shampoo."

Seokjin reaches for the bottle the hotel has provided - and at a hotel as nice as this one, it's not like it's a decrease in quality. So it can't be that that bothers Namjoon as he sees Seokjin go to use the other shampoo, but he's bothered about it all the same, and he finds himself reaching over Seokjin to stop him from grabbing the bottle.

"Joon-ah?"

It's the soft way Seokjin calls out his name that gets to him, Namjoon decides, or at least his body does, grabbing Seokjin's (bare, T-shirt abandoned outside the shower) shoulders and spinning him around so he's front-on facing Namjoon. 

Namjoon stares, pursing his lips together, and announces before he changes his mind, "Close your eyes."

For someone who constantly likes to go against Namjoon's requests, Seokjin doesn't hesitate to close his eyes, and Namjoon is allowed to freely stare at Seokjin's face. Even with the recent haircut, his wet bangs fall down to cover his eyebrows, but even the fallen fringe can't hide how soft Seokjin's face is. 

Namjoon swallows. Hard. And then he squirts some shampoo onto his hands, rubs it together until it suds, and then finally places his hands in Seokjin's hair and starts to lather it in.

"Oh," Seokjin says with a soft gasp, eyes popping open.

With Namjoon standing close enough he can properly lather the shampoo, hands physically on Seokjin, it's all too much.

"I told you to close your eyes, hyung," Namjoon mumbles, pouting until Seokjin closes his eyes again and Namjoon sighs in relief. Wonders what he's doing. Enjoys the soft sighs that escape Seokjin's lips as Namjoon massages his scalp and tries to focus on properly shampooing Seokjin's hair.

Except his eyes naturally drift down to Seokjin's face, their similar heights feeling like a bigger curse than ever as Namjoon's forced to be face to face with Seokjin. Except unlike usually where it feels like Namjoon's butting with Seokjin in every way possible, Seokjin's following Namjoon's touch as if he actually enjoys it and Namjoon is only human and can only take staring at Seokjin's content face while he has hands on him for so long.

With the bite of his lip, Namjoon pushes Seokjin's hair back, ever so gently titling Seokjin's face upward. He closes the poor excuse of distance between them, and leaves a whisper of a kiss on Seokjin's lips.

Namjoon immediately pulls back with a wave of shame overcoming him. Or at least, he tries to pull back, but the distance he tried to put between Seokjin and himself quickly disappears again when Seokjin falls into the kiss, chasing after Namjoon’s lips with a soft sigh when they finally reconnect, Seokjin hands finding their way to Namjoon’s shoulders.

With Seokjin pushing against him, they fall into the direct stream of the shower and the shampoo comes running out of Seokjin’s hair but it’s the last thing on either of their minds. There’s something extra dangerous about Seokjin’s hands resting against Namjoon’s bare skin, and Namjoon knows that but it doesn’t stop him from removing one of his hands from Seokjin’s hair to wrap an arm around Seokjin’s waist and pull him close so their chests are flush to each other.

Namjoon gasps when one of Seokjin’s hands buries itself in the short strands of Namjoon’s hair and pulls just hard enough for Namjoon to feel light-headed, and Seokjin takes advantage of the parting of Namjoon’s lips to deepen the kiss. The hot water suddenly feels like nothing when Namjoon feels Seokjin’s tongue press against his own.

Namjoon grins at the soft groan he elicits from Seokjin when he takes his lower lip between his teeth. But then some remaining shampoo suds (that have been blissfully ignored until now) drip down Seokjin’s face and down to where their lips are connected, and judging by the way Seokjin suddenly scrunches his face and pulls away, he’s also just now ingesting some of the shampoo.

“I guess the shampoo doesn’t taste as good as it smells,” Seokjin jokes, sticking his tongue out in exaggerated disgust and Namjoon does not think about how said tongue was just in his mouth.

“It really doesn’t.” 

But you do , Namjoon’s brain helpfully provides, and he throws the thought away with a hard shake of his head. “I guess we should hurry up and finish rinsing off then.” Rinsing off, rinsing off, rinsing off , kissing Seokjin until the hot water runs out- rinsing off, rinsing off.

Seokjin obviously isn’t as thrown off by all of it as Namjoon is, Namjoon’s partner happily turning back around and beginning to rinse the last remaining shampoo suds out of his hair before reaching for the soap. The soap isn’t Namjoon’s, mostly because he didn’t bring his own soap. Now he wishes he did, and wonders if he’d be able to lather it all over Seokjin’s body the same way he did with his shampoo.

The question if he can help is at the tip of his tongue when they both freeze at the sound of the front door opening, only to relax a moment later when they recognize Jimin’s voice calling out, “Housekeeping!”

“Oh,” Seokjin says dumbly, “I forgot I texted him to come pick up the evidence. Can you go help him spot it? I think I threw it somewhere near the front door as we were coming in, but I’m not sure if he’ll recognize the towel in the bag.”

“Why can’t you go help him?”

With a sheepish smile, Seokjin gestures down to jeans he’s wearing, which are now plastered to his skin with water. Huh. Namjoon had gotten so distracted that he had forgotten that Seokjin hadn’t even properly stripped down. There’s a part of him who wants to offer to help find out if it’d be easy to take them off quickly, but Namjoon has also worn those jeans (considering they’re his ) and has had trouble sliding them off when they’re perfectly dry, so he can’t imagine what a pain it’d be now.

Plus, Namjoon can hear Jimin approaching the bathroom, and sure enough their silence is followed by a knock at the door.

“Oh, are you busy?” Jimin asks, and while his voice is drenched in typical customer-service sweetness, Namjoon knows well enough that the next knock on the door won’t be nearly as gentle. So he washes the last of the shampoo off of himself, hopes he got most of the gunk off despite not touching the soap yet, and steps out of the shower.

He grabs a robe, freshly hung (from a housekeeper who isn’t Jimin), and throws it on and pretends like he isn’t wearing soaking wet underwear before cracking the bathroom door open and slipping outside.

Jimin’s amused expression was expected, but it doesn’t make Namjoon like it any better. He pulls the robe tighter around himself, and acts like there isn’t water pooling at his feet.

“Sorry, I was showering,” Namjoon says, as if the running shower water and dripping wet hair wasn’t hint enough. 

“I can see that,” Jimin says, looking Namjoon up and down. “Where’s your husband?”

The shower water continues to run in the background, and Namjoon can make out Seokjin humming in the shower. Jimin can definitely hear it too, but Namjoon still lies and says, “He’s sleeping.”

“Oh, really? It sure does sound like he’s in the shower. The shower that you were just in.”

Namjoon flushes red.

“We weren’t showering together!”

Jimin rolls his eyes. “Ah, yes, you were simply showering side by side, and it just happened to be in the same shower. My mistake.” He shakes his head, and in a much quieter voice, adds, “It’s a good thing I love both of you, because sometimes I simply cannot stand you two.”

Namjoon grins. “You don’t mean that.”

Jimin sighs. “No, I don’t. Just give me the thing and I’ll leave you two free to do whatever weird shower things you plan on doing.”

Namjoon easily spots the half-hazardly tossed evidence bag on the ground only a few feet away from the entrance, and after confirming that it’s properly sealed with the towel and knife in it, he hands it over to Jimin.

“Alright, if you guys do anything exciting, do me a favor and point the camera into the bathroom? The footage is starting to get a bit dry, would love for you guys to spice it up, you know?”

The last thing Namjoon sees of Jimin as he kicks him out of the hotel room is Jimin’s wink and mischievous smile.

“The shower is all yours,” Seokjin says as Namjoon walks back into the bathroom. He has a towel wrapped around his waist, and Namjoon definitely doesn’t think about how low the towel rests on Seokjin’s hips.

(He does think about how much Seokjin must’ve struggled to finally get the pants off. He definitely does not think about missing out on that.)

With a wad of soaking wet clothes, Seokjin curtly exits and Namjoon is forced to reflect on what just happened all by himself. Luckily, the bathroom mirrors are still fogged up from the steam of the shower which means Namjoon actually doesn’t have to reflect at all, and after ditching his robe and his boxers, he hops back into the shower and appreciates that the temperature is already cranked to its coldest setting.

 

+++

 

They’re on a bus leading to a theater an hour later, both of them dressed in full suit and tie. The ties are provided from work, and Namjoon has a sneaky suspicion Jimin must’ve picked them out because Seokjin and Namjoon are embarrassingly matching.

By the time they arrive at the theater, every guest has had at least one glass of wine besides Seokjin, who determinedly passed his glass on to Namjoon as soon as the bus attendant walked away. 

Which means Namjoon is on glass three, accidentally caught by one of the event attendants with an empty glass which is quickly refilled. It’s not usually enough to have him feeling anything, and it’s certainly not enough to have him feeling drunk. But he’s still thinking about kissing Seokjin in the shower earlier, and amid thoughts he chugged the glasses fast enough that he certainly is feeling something .

Seokjin notices, and frowns.

“Ah, I shouldn’t have made you drink my glass,” he says, nose scrunched. After a moment of hesitation, he reaches out and places a hand on Namjoon’s cheek, touch cold against Namjoon’s heated skin. “Are you feeling okay?”

“Just a little sleepy,” Namjoon admits. They’re heading inside the auditorium now, and with all the dimmed lights, Namjoon already knows he’s due for a nap. He’s tired enough that he doesn’t even react when Seokjin grabs his hand and helps guide him towards their seats.

“I guess this isn’t the best event for seeing if anyone looks suspicious,” Seokjin whispers into Namjoon’s ear once they’re seated. They have other couples from the event seated on either side of them, but neither of them are their suspected bidders and neither of them seem to hold any interest in what Seokjin and Namjoon are doing.

Seokjin’s right, though. With the lights dimmed down except for the harsh stage lighting, it’s basically impossible to get a good look at any of the nearby guests, and that’s just including the ones that Namjoon can actually see with the seating arrangement. For the investigation, it’s not good at all.

Namjoon relaxes when the performer steps on stage where the grand piano has been waiting. He’s still holding Seokjin’s hand, and after a moment of hesitation, he leans over so that his head is resting on Seokjin’s shoulder. The person performing on stage seems to disappear when Namjoon feels Seokjin rest his head on top of Namjoon’s head a moment later.

For Namjoon, it’s not bad at all.

The recital begins and Namjoon is almost disappointed that he’s not more awake; he’s usually much more interested in any type of music performance. However, he’s much more entranced by Seokjin’s enthralled expression as the music begins. He watches as Seokjin’s free hand moves, fingers fumbling around on his thigh. It’s nice, Seokjin’s smile as he engages with the music, and Namjoon wonders if it’d be okay to invite Seokjin to another recital even after the mission is over.

The performance has Seokjin captivated, but Namjoon’s attention has now found its way to where Seokjin and Namjoon’s hands intertwine. There’s something different than usual, but it’s not until Namjoon looks down and studies Seokjin’s fingers that he realizes that out of all the times he’s held Seokjin’s hand, he’s mostly been on Seokjin’s right side. So it’s the first time for Namjoon to properly hold Seokjin’s left hand and feel the cool metal of the wedding band on Seokjin’s ring finger.

Namjoon bites his lower lip. Traces the outline of the ring. It’s a simple, silver-colored band that Namjoon almost hates because it doesn’t seem like it’s good enough for Seokjin. It’s never something he would’ve given to Seokjin if they got married. He imagines taking Seokjin ring shopping, browsing rings until Namjoon has a good idea of what Seokjin might like, sending Seokjin home while Namjoon picks out the final ring so at least it’s somewhat of a surprise.

Namjoon blinks, his vision of placing a ring on Seokjin’s finger returning to the sight actually in front of him: a ring on Seokjin’s finger that doesn’t really belong to him. Because they’re not actually married, there’s not actually anything in between them, and once they solve the case, Namjoon won’t be able to hold Seokjin’s hand like this ever again.

Namjoon looks at the ring on Seokjin’s finger one more time. Imagines it as his own, imagines it as someone else’s.

He shakes his head. There’s been too many images flashing through his head, too many fantasies freely playing themselves out, and Namjoon’s been more than happy to hide them under the blanket of being undercover, under the blanket of Namjoon’s just doing his job .

It’s never just been doing his job .

Taking a deep breath, Namjoon lets go of Seokjin’s hand, promising himself it’ll all be easier once he can’t indulge himself like this any longer.

After all, he’s been ignoring his feelings for Seokjin for years. Certainly, he can get through the rest of the week.

Chapter Text

Namjoon had passed the job interview, so he had no decent explanation for why he felt so utterly unnerved as he waited in the lobby, the receptionist calling to double check that Namjoon was allowed into the building.

You’ve got this, Namjoon reminded himself, bouncing back and forth between his feet, fingers tugging at his shirt that had slowly become untucked. He thought about tucking it back in, but at this point Namjoon figured it would be even less professional to be sticking his hands down his pants - even if it was only with good intentions.

“Alright, the elevator is just up ahead, go to the third floor, the director said he’ll be waiting for you,” the receptionist said, gesturing down the hallway. 

Namjoon was nervous enough that he could barely manage to nod his head in appreciation before dragging his feet down the hallway in a way that made his shoes squeak against the hard title flooring. Which only added to how awkward he felt, quickening his pace so at least the squeaking of his shoes could no longer bother the poor receptionist, the squeaks becoming faster and faster until Namjoon finally reached the elevator.

The elevator doors opened, and Namjoon wanted to cry upon the sight of someone else standing in the elevator. The only relief Namjoon found was that the man standing in the elevator didn’t look any older than him, with fire red hair, a lab coat, and a manilla folder clutched to his chest.

“Good morning,” Namjoon managed, nodding his head in the man’s direction without making actual eye contact. Instead, he pressed the button for the third floor, and then remembered to ask, “What floor for you?”

“Three as well,” the man said, and when Namjoon turned around to look at the man in surprise, he was met with an intrigued expression, the man’s eyebrows raised. His eyes dropped down to the visitor name tag stuck to Namjoon’s shirt (Namjoon had been promised at the callback from the interview that they would provide him a real ID badge within the first couple of days of work). 

“I’m a new hire,” Namjoon said quickly, not wanting the man to question him. The quick answer didn’t seem to do any good though, the man still staring at Namjoon questioningly. Another moment passed, the elevator dinged to alert them that they were passing by the second floor, and Namjoon realized he couldn’t stall for another floor.

“Kim Namjoon,” he introduced himself as, mentally patting himself on the back as the words slipped out of his mouth smoothly. “Today is my first day.”

The man smiled at that, a little more mischievous than Namjoon would prefer.

“Oh, you’re the one joining Seokjin’s team.”

Seokjin . It wasn’t Namjoon’s first time hearing the name. The first time had been when he had been having the interview with the director, and he had told Namjoon that they’d wait to start until his lead agent showed up.

The second time Namjoon had heard the name was ten minutes into waiting for the interview to start, and the director wondered where Seokjin was. The third time was when the director was ringing Seokjin’s cellphone for the third time and it led to voicemail once again, and he left a nasty voicemail that entailed several curse words paired with Seokjin’s name.

Seokjin never showed up and they started the interview without him and, to say, Namjoon was a bit anxious about joining Seokjin s team. And the man’s mischievous smile didn’t make him feel any better about it.

“Don’t look so nervous about it,” the man reassured Namjoon, though his reassurances didn’t match up with his delighted expression. “Everyone on the team is a good person, you’ll have tons of fun.”

Namjoon didn’t have time to ask what the man meant by fun when the elevator dinged again, announcing their arrival to the third floor. The elevator doors slid open, and standing directly outside of them was the somewhat familiar face Namjoon was expecting: Min Yoongi.

Namjoon hadn’t looked up any of his other coworkers, but he had done some research on the director before the interview. Not that there was much to learn: Min Yoongi, not even two years older than Namjoon, and had recently earned the title of director at the agency.

However, rather than the greeting that Namjoon expected, Yoongi looked directly past Namjoon, eyes narrowing on the man standing next to him.

“Hoseok,” Yoongi said, and Namjoon watched the way his blank expression morphed into something a little softer. “What are you doing up here?”

The man - Hoseok - bit his lower lip, like he wanted to say something, but before the words could leave his mouth he glanced over at Namjoon (who was now pressing the button to make sure the elevator doors didn’t shut on them).

“I found something during the autopsy that I wanted to let Seokjin know about, and someone said that you had locked Seokjin up here.” Hoseok smiled and wiggled his eyebrows at Namjoon. “Being able to bully Namjoonie in the elevator was just an extra surprise bonus.”

“I don’t have Seokjin locked up here,” Yoongi grumbled, shoving his hands in his pants pockets. “Anyway, can the news wait?” And then Yoongi reached forward into the elevator and grabbed Namjoon by the arm, pulling him out with a swift tug. “I’ve got him up here so he can meet this guy.”

Hoseok nodded. “He’s the one joining Seokjin’s team, right?”

Yoongi grimaced. “His new partner, actually.”

“His new partner!” Hoseok clapped his hands together as he exclaimed in excitement, expression finally brightening up again with a big grin painted across his face. “Oh, I was right, Namjoon! You’re going to have so much fun.”

Namjoon swallowed. “I don’t think anyone says it like that if they actually mean it.”

His words got a chuckle out of both Hoseok and Yoongi, though while Yoongi was more a quiet giggle hidden behind his hand, Hoseok’s laughter was loud and proud. Namjoon thought they were both nice laughs.

“I’ll let Seokjin know that you have something for him when I’m done with him,” Yoongi promised Hoseok. 

“Tell him to meet me downstairs, I want to show him something,” Hoseok said, and he gave Namjoon one last look. “I’ll probably be seeing you soon, but it was nice to meet you, Namjoon.”

Namjoon supposed he had enjoyed meeting Hoseok too, but he missed the opportunity to say so when the elevator doors shut a second later. 

“I didn’t expect you to meet Hoseok so soon, but it’s for the best anyway,” Yoongi admitted as they walked down the hallway. Namjoon could see the office door waiting for them at the end, the same office door that had led to the room the interview took place in. Which was the room that Namjoon was supposed to have met Seokjin in. 

But that didn’t happen, and it was only hitting Namjoon now that he was on day one of a job and he hadn’t even met the person who was going to be his partner. Which felt like a big thing. It was a big thing. Seokjin was going to be the person Namjoon was going to have to work with, rely on, and hopefully get along with in between all of that. But the more Namjoon heard about Seokjin, the more worried he became.

Namjoon realized that Yoongi was staring at him, expression amused. He probably realized Namjoon had been spacing out. Day one, and Namjoon already felt like he was behind the game, and it was all due to Seokjin

“Hoseok seems like a good guy,” Namjoon said after he recalled the conversation they were having, throwing thoughts of the mysterious Seokjin away, because he needed to focus.

“The best one you’ll ever meet,” Yoongi immediately followed up with, like he didn’t even think of what he was saying until a moment later when his eyes widened dramatically.

The walk down the hallway was brief, Yoongi’s strides becoming even bigger after that to a point that Namjoon wondered how a man so much shorter than him could somehow take steps even bigger than his own.

Yoongi opened the office door, gesturing for Namjoon to go ahead of him. When Namjoon halted in his spot, Yoongi laughed quietly before gently putting a hand on Namjoon’s back, and then not-so-gently pushing him inside.

It was only natural for Namjoon to immediately look for Seokjin within the room, because his future-partner had done such a good job avoiding him up until then that Namjoon was determined to break his winning streak.

However, Namjoon admittedly had no idea what to expect, and when his eyes landed on the man sitting in the chair in the office, legs propped up on Yoongi’s desk and with a bag of gummies in his hand, Namjoon forgot all about his search for his partner because oh no .

Oh no , because there was a beautiful man blinking at Namjoon, and Namjoon could feel his heart already start to pound. Oh no , because the man dropped his gummies on the floor, lips parted into a soft ‘O’. Oh no , because Yoongi came in behind Namjoon a second later and suddenly he was telling the man to introduce himself to Namjoon.

“Seokjin,” the man said, and oh no , because that name sounded a lot like the name of Namjoon’s supposed partner. “Nice to meet you.” And then Seokjin grinned, pearly white teeth on full display with his cheeks puffed up. He only looked away to grab the fallen gummy bag, scooping the fallen gummies back into the bag, and after a shrug of the shoulders, he threw another gummy into his mouth.

And oh no, that had Namjoon’s heart squeezing in his chest.

“Since someone ,” Yoongi glared at Seokjin, “couldn’t show up to Namjoon’s interview, I wanted to introduce you two before Namjoon started his first day. Seokjin, do you have any questions?”

Seokjin spluttered. “Wait, that’s Namjoon?”

That must be his cue to introduce himself, Namjoon figured, and he quickly bowed. “Kim Namjoon. It’ll be nice working with you.” Nice, really nice, especially if Namjoon can figure out how to calm his beating heart, thumping erratically in his chest just from the sound of Seokjin saying his name.

Yoongi looked at Seokjin, and then redirected his gaze back at Namjoon in a way that said that within the few seconds that Namjoon had developed a small crush on his partner, Yoongi had already figured it out. Yoongi knew .

Namjoon momentarily panicked. What if Yoongi decided to fire him now, or even worse, go ahead and expose him? The multitude of possibilities ran through Namjoon’s mind, none of them coming to fruition as Namjoon watched Yoongi’s cocked eyebrow be matched with an amused smile before turning his head back so he could look at both of them.

“Seokjin, Namjoon will be joining you from today onward, so go ahead and brief him on the case you’re working on and have him tag along. He has a decent amount of detective experience, but help him figure out how we do things around here, okay? Namjoon, does that sound good to you?”

“Sounds good,” they both said at the same time, and Namjoon didn’t even look to see Seokjin’s reaction because he was much too busy trying to hide how flushed his own face became at the sound of their voices mixing together, a sort of harmony that Namjoon liked more than he should’ve.

Yoongi dismissed himself to the bathroom, handing Namjoon a stack of papers to sign with Namjoon’s new ID badge laying on top. The paperwork wasn’t much to sign, and Namjoon put his badge to the side on Yoongi’s desk before pulling up the extra chair and beginning to sign all the spots where Yoongi circled for him.

A few signatures in, Namjoon noticed that the squeaky spin of Yoongi’s chair spinning around thanks to Seokjin’s inability to sit still had gone silent. Unnervingly silent, and Namjoon was worried that Seokjin was staring at him judgingly. Was he taking too long to sign all the papers? Was Seokjin waiting on him? Was his signature too ugly?

Namjoon couldn’t handle any of the thoughts, and in a decision to clear his mind of them, he looked up from the paperwork to check on what Seokjin was doing. He quickly realized that Seokjin had picked up Namjoon’s ID badge and was currently staring at it.

It took Seokjin a minute to realize that the sound of pen scratching against paper had disappeared, and Namjoon was much more occupied watching him instead. Once Seokjin looked over at Namjoon, Namjoon took the chance to ask, “Is this something wrong with it?” Certainly, with the expression Seokjin was making, something had to be wrong; his lips were too pouted, and his eyebrows too furrowed.

“Didn’t you read the rulebook?”

Namjoon tried to remain calm, because oh no it was barely five minutes into meeting his partner and he had already messed up. “Did I miss something?”

Seokjin sighed. “Absolutely.” Namjoon braced himself for the answer. “Rule one. Nobody is allowed to look good in their ID picture.” After one last glance at Namjoon’s ID and one last scrunch of his nose, Seokjin tossed it back at Namjoon. It gracefully slipped past Namjoon’s outstretched fingers and tumbled to the floor.

Namjoon was at a point in his life where he felt comfortable admitting he thought he was attractive, and he strictly remembered the amount of effort he had put into his appearance the day they had scheduled him to come in and get his picture for his ID taken. So in a normal situation, he’d be happy over the compliment (even if it was a little oddly delivered). 

However, it wasn’t a normal situation, because it was someone as handsome as Seokjin delivering the compliment, and it made Namjoon’s head feel a little mushy.

“I mean, I’m sure you look good in yours too,” Namjoon said, and oh boy , he was right, head mushy. Mushy and empty.

It must’ve been the lighting - surely Seokjin was more than experienced with receiving such compliments - but Namjon swore Seokjin’s face turned a little red. Maybe even the tips of his ears.

It must’ve been the lighting, because a second later Seokjin laughed, confidently pushing his hair back before saying, “Well, you’ll find out very quickly, Namjoon-ah, that I tend to not read the rulebook.”

“I’ll go ahead and pretend I didn’t hear that.”

Yoongi had returned, but with a tray that held four coffees in it, and Namjoon wondered if Yoongi’s trip to the bathroom was a trip to the bathroom at all (or if Namjoon needed to question the contents of the cups).

Once Yoongi confirmed that Namjoon had signed everything he needed to (Namjoon had only missed one signature), he handed a coffee to Seokjin and Namjoon each.

“Alright, a coffee for you, for teaching Namjoon the ropes,” Yoongi said when he handed the coffee to Seokjin, followed by him handing a coffee to Namjoon. “And a coffee for you, for dealing with Seokjin’s shit. Feel free to tell me if you have any complaints.”

Seokjin just smiled at Yoongi’s jab, before questioningly looking at the remaining two coffees.

“I’m assuming one’s for you. Who’s the other one for?”

Yoongi smiled. “They had this one seasonal drink that Hobi looks forward to every year and-” he cut himself off when he caught Seokjin’s knowing look. “Uh, I needed two coffees. To deal with your shit. Anyway, hurry up and solve some cases, will you?”

They’re kicked out promptly after, Namjoon barely able to not drop his coffee as Yoongi physically pushed him out of the office along with Seokjin.

Namjoon hoped that sooner than later, he would get over how handsome his partner was, because he found himself absolutely tongue-tied as he stared at Seokjin, and any attempt at starting a conversation was quickly diffused. He was thankful for the coffee in his hands, just because it gave him something to do - even if it was just taking a sip of the overly-sweetened drink.

“I wish I had a new case for you so you didn’t have to jump in so suddenly, but the case the team and I have been working on has been ongoing for over a week,” Seokjin said, scrunching his nose. “You’ll have a lot to catch up with, and don’t feel bad if you can’t. We’re hoping to wrap it up within the next day or so.”

Namjoon nodded. It made sense, even if he didn’t like it. Still, he bothered to ask, “Do you have a case file I could look at? Not right now, but maybe sometime later today.”

“Trying to show off already?” There was no contempt in Seokjin’s tone - if anything, amusement - but it still had Namjoon quick to defend himself.

“No, I just-”

Seokjin laughed. The wall was calling for Namjoon to run his head into it, because he knew if he didn’t, he was going to have Seokjin’s squeaky laughter playing in his head for the rest of the day.

“Alright, hot shot, here’s your real test,” Seokjin said. “You saw the whole shebang - tell me what you think is going on between Hoseok and Yoongi.”

Namjoon blinked, convinced that he must have misheard what Seokjin asked because surely he wasn’t asking Namjoon to dissect the relationship between his direct superior and another coworker.

But Seokjin continued to stare at Namjoon expectantly, and, oh , Namjoon didn’t mishear. And also, oh , Seokjin’s eyes were really nice. The single brow raised really had Namjoon wanting to throw himself against the wall even more so than answering his personal interpretation of the director’s interaction with Hoseok.

Namjoon swallowed. “I mean, I’m not exactly sure-”

Seokjin clicked his tongue. “Rule number two around here - be confident. You’ve got a big brain, Namjoon, don’t doubt yourself.”

Namjoon nodded, trying to hide his surprise. For someone who he had gotten such a negative first impression on, Seokjin wasn’t anything like the lazy detective that Namjoon was imagining after multiple times of refusing to show up to scheduled meetings. 

“Judging by their interactions, I’d say they’re dating, and really poorly hiding it,” he finally said, thinking about Yoongi’s automatic compliments towards Hoseok, the extra drink of Hoseok’s favorite. Hoseok’s inability to hide that he was holding back around Yoongi. “That, or extremely awkward flirting.”

Seokjin smiled and shot finger guns at Namjoon.

“Yoongi was right, you are a smart cookie,” Seokjin said, happy with Namjoon’s answer. He pressed the button to call the elevator up to them, and didn’t say anything else until the elevator dinged in arrival, and they both were in the elevator with the doors closed behind them. Seokjin pressed the button that led to the basement.

“But you missed one thing,” Seokjin said, catching Namjoon off guard. Not only did he not expect the conversation to continue, he certainly didn’t expect to have missed something.

“What’s that?”

Seokjin shrugged. “Yoongi and Hoseok were dating - they broke up a few months ago.” He rested a hand on Namjoon’s shoulder, and squeezed. “Don’t worry, hyung will teach you how to catch all the details. You’ll be skilled enough to be part of Team Seokjin in no time.”

 

+++

 

The discovery Hoseok let them in on led them to an apartment in the older part of town a few hours later.

“Well, it’s definitely not somewhere I would find if I was the culprit,” Seokjin said as they walked up three flights of stairs. Each step seemed to creak underneath their weight, and Namjoon held onto the stair rail for dear life.

“I guess that’s what made it a good place for the victim to hide all her stuff at,” Namjoon said, thinking about what Hoseok had told them. The evidence he wanted to share was an address, found scratched into the victim’s skin near their inguinal area - and the writing matched the victim’s. The writing had been so tiny, barely noticeable compared to all the other defense wounds the victim had, that Hoseok had missed it upon his original inspection of the body.

“Well, she could’ve made it a little easier to find, this could be a potentially huge break in the case,” Seokjin said. “Until now, we’ve had no idea what the victim has been hiding. Figuring out what she was hiding will give us an insight on the motive for killing her, and hopefully lead to who her killer is.”

Namjoon doubted the victim had in mind the investigators of her murder when she found the dusty old apartment to rent, but it also made him feel sick to his stomach that the victim knew her chances of getting killed were so high that she prepared clues for the investigation crew.

They arrived at the correct apartment door, and Seokjin opened it with the key they had obtained from the landlord, who said he hadn’t heard from the victim since the last time she paid rent. All cash, no credit card trail.

“Well, it definitely doesn’t look like anyone has found this place besides us,” Namjoon said as they stepped into the place. It was much neater inside than he was expecting, no loose documents lying around. No signs of a break-in.

Nothing immediately grabbed his attention, but they walked further into the apartment, shutting the door behind them. It was a one-bedroom apartment, and while Seokjin peaked into the bedroom, Namjoon glanced inside of the bathroom - and they both came back to the living room a couple minutes later and agreed it didn’t look like the victim was actually staying at the apartment at all.

“If the landlord hadn’t verified the victim’s face as the owner of the apartment, I would have no idea it belonged to her,” Seokjin said, snapping on a pair of gloves as he started poking around at the victim’s belongings. They both naturally migrated towards the desk crammed in the corner of the living room, and Seokjin happily pulled open all the drawers.

“Bingo,” Seokjin said, grabbing a large stack of documents from the top drawer. Namjoon stood beside Seokjin, doing his best to glance at the documents as Seokjin quickly skimmed through them.

“Finances?” Namjoon didn’t know how else to explain all the numbers on the pages.

Seokjin nodded, looking more and more amused the further into the paperwork they went. “As far as I can tell, they’re from a few years ago. Which makes sense, because that’s when she worked for the company.”

The company, Namjoon recognized. It was basically a rule that bigger companies had issues with embezzlement and fraud, but part of the rule was to not get caught, which clearly they had been considering the documentation the victim had involving the flow of money within the company. 

“How do you think they figured out she had the information?” Namjoon asked.

It took Seokjin a moment to think about it. “Well, she hasn’t worked at the company for years, so it sounds like she’s been sitting on the information for quite awhile without anyone figuring it out. I don’t think someone would figure out three years later that she managed to snag the information and go after her then.”

Namjoon furrowed his brows. “Do you think she tried to blackmail someone with the information?”

Seokjin sighed, throwing the paperwork down on the desk. “That’s exactly what I think.” He glanced at the laptop sitting on the desk. “We didn’t find anything suggesting blackmail in her phone, social media or email messages, but we found all that information off of her belongings at her listed residence. We didn’t even consider that she might have another computer.”

Seokjin pulled out the chair at the desk, and took a seat, not even hesitating before he opened up the laptop - it was on. Unfortunately, the moment Seokjin tried to access its contents, it asked for a password, and he groaned loudly.

“So she tells us where all the stuff is, but doesn’t tell us how to access it. You don’t suppose if I text Hobi, he’ll tell me he found a password written on her ass or something.”

Namjoon frowned. “I mean, we can always bring it back for someone good with technology to hack into.”

Seokjin shook his head. “Takes too long. And I got in a fight with the guy in tech last week because he said lemon flavored gummies are better than grape ones, so I’m really not in the mood to talk to him.”

Namjoon blinked at Seokjin, waiting for him to tell him that he was joking, or any sign that he wasn’t being serious. But there was nothing, and Seokjin moved on quickly.

“Anyway, now we have not only my big brain, but yours as well. Don’t you think we could just figure out the password by ourselves?” Seokjin spun around in the desk chair, wiggling his eyebrows at Namjoon everytime he was spun in Namjoon’s direction.

Namjoon deadpanned. “No, not really.”

That just seemed to amuse Seokjin, not taking Namjoon’s attitude seriously. “Alright. Let’s start with her birthday.” Seokjin pulled out his notes on the victim and quickly typed in a few variations of her birthday into the password lock - all rejected.

“What’s the point of having a birthday if you don’t make it your password?” Seokjin glared at the computer screen, fingers hovering above the keyboard. “She was a college graduate, so maybe her graduation date? Or maybe a family member she was close with?” 

Seokjin sighed, trying a few different combinations. All incorrect.

“I sure hope this doesn’t lock us out at some point.”

“Maybe we should really wait for someone more knowledgeable to look into it?” Namjoon tried, started to feel stressed by his partner’s antics. Hoseok’s ominous, “ you’re going to have so much fun,” from earlier today suddenly made a lot more sense.

“Boring.” Seokjin backed away from the laptop, pushing away with his feet and letting the chair wheels slide him back. He gestured at Namjoon. “Anyway, it's your turn to have a crack at it.”

“Can my crack at it be calling someone from tech to assist?”

“Namjoon-ah, I love the enthusiasm, but it’s literally your first day on the job. There’s no way you have the tech team’s number saved in your phone.” Namjoon definitely did not think that Seokjin’s smug expression was attractive. Not at all. “C’mon, give it your best shot.”

Namjoon sighed, but caved. He walked up into the empty space in front of the laptop, squatting down so that he wasn’t bending over too much. He stared at the empty password box, racking his mind for any ideas until one finally hit him.

“She has a dog, right?”

Seokjin hummed, intrigued. “She does. You think the password is her dog?”

They checked Seokjin’s notes, and tried a variety of ways of typing the dog’s name, and after Namjoon’s put the dog’s name followed by a one, the laptop opened.

“See, I knew you had this, Namjoon,” Seokjin said, clapping multiple times. He pushed Namjoon aside so he could slide back to the desk, getting his hands back onto the laptop. “How’d you think of that, anyway? I totally forgot about her dog.”

Namjoon stood in silence before finally admitting, “Because that’s what my password is.”

Seokjin grinned. “Oh, I’m so hacking your Instagram later. Expect all your next few posts to be my best selfies.” He looked at Namjoon’s shocked face. “Oh, c’mon, don’t tell me you don’t have an Instagram. You have Instagram Aesthetic written all over you.”

Namjoon couldn’t deny that, and decided to ignore the subject by insisting that they needed to hurry up and see what was on the laptop.

Sure enough, there was another email hooked up to the computer, and it didn’t take long for Namjoon and Seokjin to find exactly what they were looking for: a blackmail email to someone at the top of the corporate ladder.

“There’s no way this guy didn’t do it. She knew he was getting angry, that’s probably why she had to prepare in case of her death,” Namjoon said when they finished going through the conversation between the victim and her blackmail victim. “Even if we can’t pin him for murder, there’s enough evidence within these emails that he’s going to get a huge chunk of time behind bars no matter what.”

“Oh, I’m sure he did it.” Seokjin stared at the computer screen, clicking back and forth between the last few interactions between the victim and the potential culprit. “I think he did it, and I think that he has deep enough pockets that he’s going to get a very good lawyer to prove that he didn’t.”

Namjoon frowned. “I think there’s enough evidence that even the best lawyer couldn’t get him off the hook for it.”

Seokjin shrugged, serious expression turning into something lighter, a small smile playing on his lips. “Perhaps. But I think it’s possible that there could be more evidence that we’re missing out on that could really help solidify the case.”

Namjoon felt lost. “We have all of the emails, plus all of the documents here. What more is there?”

Seokjin grinned.

“You know where you hide something if you really don’t want someone finding it?”

Namjoon tilted his head to the side. “Where?”

And that was when Seokjin pointed out the window with a wide grin, and Namjoon’s stomach dropped when he saw where Seokjin was pointing.

“I don’t like what you’re suggesting.”

Seokjin laughed, squeaky, obnoxious, and sounding exactly like what Namjoon wanted to listen to for the rest of his life. “C’mon Namjoon, we have to make sure we’re not missing anything.”

“Between the emails and the physical documents, we have a case and a half,” Namjoon argued. “I don’t think it’s really necessary to-”

He was cut off by Seokjin slinging an arm over Namjoon’s shoulders, and any protest of Namjoon’s was already gone, thoughts gone into the air as he was forced to think about how warm Seokjin’s arm felt, how they were standing close enough that he could smell Seokjin’s shampoo.

“Namjoon, it’s for the sake of the case. You want to make sure things go smoothly, right?”

Namjoon did want things to go right, and more importantly, he wanted to escape from the small hold Seokjin had on him because the longer Seokjin’s arm lingered on his shoulders the more butterflies bloomed in Namjoon’s stomach, which was definitely not where they belonged.

So regretfully, Namjoon took one last glance at the window where he could see the dumpster not too far away, before making his way over with a happily humming Seokjin following.

 

+++

 

“Namjoon, are you still sulking?”

Namjoon looked over at Seokjin in disbelief, and then immediately regretted it because even though Namjoon wanted Seokjin to know exactly how annoyed he was with him, he also did not want to acknowledge the fact that both of them were naked, and looking at Seokjin made that a bit difficult.

Namjoon immediately whipped his head back forward, keeping his eyes locked on the shower nozzle. It squeaked as water came out, but for the showers available in the workplace gym, the water pressure was decent.

“I’m not sulking,” Namjoon said.

“You’ve barely talked to me since we’ve came back!”

“You made me dig around a dumpster and then told me we didn’t actually need to do that. I’m not really sure what you want me to say.”

Seokjin sighed dramatically. “You could tell me how much you enjoyed our unique, one-of-a-kind bonding exercise.” When Namjoon groaned, Seokjin added with a pout, “Can’t you just say you had a little fun, for hyung’s sake?”

Namjoon didn’t have fun diving through garbage, and he definitely wasn’t having fun having to shower with his coworker that he had just met that day (even if said coworker was incredibly attractive). However, he felt a little bad being so harsh on Seokjin, and he sighed.

“Hyung, it was a little fun,” Namjoon said, letting all of his annoyance out as he scrubbed the last of the gunk off of his skin. 

“And successful!” Seokjin exclaimed. “That was the first time you’ve called me hyung all day! I think that’s top-tier evidence of proper partner-to-partner bonding.”

Namjoon hadn’t even realized the change in honorifics until Seokjin pointed it out, and he felt his face turn hot. Maybe he had spent too much time in the shower. 

They both got out a few minutes later, and Namjoon ran into a problem right after he finished drying himself and noticed Seokjin changing into an extra pair of clothes he had in his locker.

“Hyung, do you have any clothes I can borrow?” Namjoon gestured down at the only covering he had, which was a towel wrapped around his waist. “I promise I’ll wash them tonight and bring them back tomorrow.”

Seokjin’s eyes travel down to where Namjoon gestured, and immediately shoot back up, face a bit red. Namjoon figured he must’ve spent too much time in the shower as well. 

“Alright, but only under two conditions.”

Namjoon nodded. “Which are?”

Seokjin held up two fingers. “First, don’t bring the clothes back, you can keep them. Think of them as a welcome-to-work present,” Seokjin said, ticking off one finger. “Two,” he was grinning mischievously at this point, “I get to borrow your clothes whenever I want from here on out.”

Namjoon didn’t see why Seokjin would ever want to borrow his clothes so he didn’t see it as a problem, and he was only a little embarrassed accepting the free clothes from Seokjin, so it seemed like a fair deal and he agreed to it, gratefully accepting the clothes that Seokjin handed him as he proceeded to change.

The rest of the day went by pretty quickly after that, Seokjin and Namjoon both busy properly documenting the evidence they found along with tracking down their suspect and figuring out where he was at the time of the murder.

The end of the day came quickly, Namjoon surprised to look out the window and see that it was already dark. He glanced at the clock, and suddenly his heavy eyelids made sense - it was half past eight.

“Namjoon, did you drive to work?”

Namjoon looked up to see Seokjin standing in front of his desk, bag slung over his shoulder.

“No, I took the train. Why?”

Seokjin held out his hand, and Namjoon instinctively grabbed it and allowed himself to be pulled out of his seat. Seokjin looked at his bag sitting near Namjoon’s feet, and he casually reached over and grabbed it with his free hand. Namjoon tried to not think about how heavy his bag was, and how easily Seokjin picked it up.

“Then I’ll drive you home,” Seokjin said, already walking off with Namjoon’s bag just as he began to protest.

“Hyung!”

Seokjin looked back at Namjoon, smiling, and Namjoon had a bad feeling.

“C’mon, there’s this place near here that has the best ice cream, and they close at nine.”

Seokjin wasn’t lying; the ice cream was some of the best Namjoon had tasted in years. 

However, the taste was less noticeable than the bad feeling in his tummy when Seokjin smiled widely when Namjoon offered to pay, only for Seokjin to order the largest portion size available. The bad feeling in his tummy when Seokjin laughed at the smudge of ice cream that managed to get on his cheek, and how Seokjin casually wiped it off with his finger. The bad feeling in his tummy when Seokjin said a bad ice cream pun ( “cone-gratulations on finishing your first day of work, Namjoon-ah”) and Namjoon couldn’t stop himself from laughing, the day’s workload fading away.

The bad feeling in his tummy didn’t go away even once Seokjin dropped him off at his apartment, telling him to rest well. In fact, it only got worse when he thought about seeing Seokjin the next day, and that night Namjoon clutched his pillow close to his chest, trying to ignore the bad feeling in his tummy and the fact that it originated from the way his heart fluttered at the thought of Seokjin.

+++

 

About a week later, Namjoon found himself at work taking the stairs down to the basement, despite the fact that he had no business down there - at the moment, their current case was involved with the theft of high-class technology, which meant there weren’t any bodies down in autopsy related to the case. Still, Namjoon hesitantly poked his head into the autopsy room.

“Hoseok?”

Hoseok was at his desk, but the moment he saw Namjoon, he dropped the pen he was writing with and spun around in his chair to face Namjoon.

“I didn’t expect to see you down here today,” Hoseok said, eyebrows raised. “Don’t tell me you missed me, or I’ll feel a little shy.”

Namjoon rolled his eyes, walking over to Hoseok’s desk and taking a seat on the spare chair. It still felt weird, so casually joining Hoseok like this, but Hoseok had already reassured Namjoon multiple times that he would be more than happy if Namjoon was able to act friendly with him.

“The case has gone dry until our suspect flies back into town tomorrow, so Seokjin decided that it was appropriate to go home early.” And then Seokjin had asked Namjoon if he wanted to go get lunch with him. Even offered to pay. Which under most circumstances, Namjoon would be more than happy to take advantage of a free meal. 

Except under normal circumstances, little warning bells wouldn’t go off in Namjoon’s head at the idea of going out to eat with Seokjin. Because Seokjin had stared Namjoon straight in the eye and phrased it as “a chance for two partners to get to know each other better” and all Namjoon’s head could get out of that was ‘date date date date’ which was the last thing he wanted to think about Seokjin’s obviously friendly invitation. It wasn’t good on Namjoon’s heart, and it wasn’t fair of Namjoon to expect Seokjin to deal with him until Namjoon could get his feelings straightened out.

And that was why Namjoon had quickly rejected Seokjin’s offer, not even looking to see Seokjin’s reaction (what if it was shock because he realized Namjoon liked him?) before running away with some half-assed excuse about already promising to get lunch with Hoseok.

“Oh, I hope Yoongi doesn’t find out that you’ve ditched early, for your sake,” Hoseok said, laughing. “He’s never been good at letting himself rest when it comes to work. Not very good at letting other people rest, either.”

Hoseok’s gaze seemed to drift past Namjoon, expression a little distant, and it reminded Namjoon exactly why he had come to Hoseok to talk.

“Hoseok, why did you and Yoongi break up?”

It was only after the words tumbled out of Namjoon’s mouth that he realized exactly what he had asked. It definitely wasn’t what he had planned on asking, his plan consisting of a much more subtle way to approach the subject. But seeing how soft Hoseok’s expression became while talking about Yoongi was just too much for Namjoon to handle - he had to know.

Luckily, Hoseok didn’t seem surprised by Namjoon’s question; If anything, he looked a bit sheepish as he rubbed the back of his neck, smiling awkwardly.

“You don’t have to answer that,” Namjoon quickly said, not wanting Hoseok to force himself to talk about something so private (even if Namjoon was desperate to know).

Hoseok shook his head. “No, it’s fine, if I didn’t want to be asked questions I should work on being a little less obvious, right?” It wasn’t right, but Hoseok continued talking anyway.

“We met back when Yoongi was a field agent at another agency, and I was the coroner on a case that ended up falling into their jurisdiction.” He smiled fondly, recalling the memory. “I don’t think we actually liked each other at first. In my eyes, he was stealing our case, and in his eyes I was probably being too reluctant sharing information about the case with him.”

“But then you ended up dating?”

Hosoek nodded. “He kept asking me to get lunch with him so we could sit down and discuss what my findings were. He kept saying that he didn’t want to meet in the morgue, something about it giving off bad vibes. So eventually he got me to sit down for lunch with him, we both enjoyed ourselves, and the rest is history.” His lips pressed into a tight line, and he sighed. “But I suppose you want to know where it went wrong.”

“You don’t have to tell me.” Namjoon almost didn’t want to know; he liked the image he had formed in his head, of a younger Hoseok and Yoongi bickering over a case while eating and the bickering slowly turning into something much more friendly.

“It’s not anything dramatic, if that’s what you’re thinking,” Hoseok said, reaching over to pat Namjoon’s shoulder reassuringly. “We dated for almost two years when Yoongi finally got the position of director here. I had known from the beginning that it was what Yoongi had always wanted, and it was what I wanted for Yoongi.” Hoseok laughed dryly. “But it wasn’t what our relationship needed or wanted. Neither of us wanted to be dating while having that kind of work relationship.”

Namjoon frowned, confused. “If you knew it was his end goal, why even date in the first place?”

This time, Hoseok laughed for real. “Well, if I could go back to myself two years ago and ask myself the same question, I would.” He paused, and quietly added, “Not that I would go back and change things if I had the option, I think. It was a good two years, and while Yoongi getting a director position was the plan, him getting it at the same agency I worked at wasn’t. But it was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of opportunity, and while I didn’t want to quit my job here, I didn’t want him to turn down the offer either. I couldn’t let him turn down his dream for my sake.”

“That…” Namjoon felt lost for words. “That’s really cool of you, Hobi.”

Hoseok smiled widely, corner of his eyes crinkling. “Right?” The pain was still there, Namjoon could tell, but he still admired Hoseok’s brave front. It was definitely something Namjoon knew he couldn’t deal with himself.

“Anyway, it’s not like you’ll have the same issue with Seokjin, considering you’re equal as partners, so you won’t have anything to worry about!” Hoseok said, throwing his arm around Namjoon’s shoulder and pulling him close so that their shoulders bumped, the wheels on Namjoon’s chair squeaking as Hoseok pulled him over.

“So when are you gonna ask him out? You’ve probably figured it out by now, but Seokjin’s kind of a dramatic guy, but I don’t think you’d have to do anything dramatic for him. Oh, but if you wanted to, I have some ideas-”

“Wait,” Namjoon interrupted, holding his hands up. His thoughts were spinning, and Hoseok was just adding to the mess. “I’m not asking Seokjin out.”

Hoseok’s jaw dropped.

“That’s not what you came down here to ask me about? That’s why you were asking about me and Yoongi, right?” Hoseok’s shocked expression turns to panic. “Oh, shit, I didn’t scare you out of asking Seokjin out, right?”

“I was never going to ask Seokjin out,” Namjoon said, not mentioning that the thought had crossed his mind a million times, and rejected a million times more. And maybe, he had come down to ask Hoseok about Yoongi and him to see where they went wrong, and how Namjoon could maybe avoid that with Seokjin if they were dating. Not that they would ever be dating, because Namjoon wasn’t going to ask Seokjin out.

As if he could read Namjoon’s jumbled mind, Hoseok narrowed his eyes and called Namjoon out. “Bullshit,” he said, whacking Namjoon’s shoulder. “I did not watch you make googly eyes at Seokjin all night during your welcome party just for you to say that you’re not going to ask him out.”

Namjoon choked. “I didn’t make googly eyes.” Seokjin had just looked exceptionally good that night, and like one would look at a painting or any other work of art, Namjoon appreciated the view. Kind of wanted to kiss the view. Wait, no-

Hoseok glared at Namjoon. “You’re not trying to tell me that you don’t like Seokjin. Because I swear to god, Namjoon, I’ll-”

“I don’t like Seokjin,” Namjoon said. It sounded horrible, felt wrong, but Namjoon found himself repeating it again. “I really don’t like Seokjin.” Maybe if he said it again, he’d actually believe it? He didn’t like Seokjin, he didn’t have feelings for Seokjin, he wasn’t going to break his heart chasing after a feeling that wasn’t going to be reciprocated, and he wasn’t going to ruin a partnership over something that wasn’t tangible. Maybe Hoseok was mature enough to appreciate what he and Yoongi had, but Namjoon could never do that; his heart would shatter.

“You’ve got to be actually kidding me,” Hoseok said, looking at Namjoon skeptically. “You don’t actually expect me to believe that, right?”

Namjoon refused to let his facade shatter. “Seokjin likes to leave his things all over my desk, and that’s only when he’s not using it.” Not that Namjoon really minds, painfully fond of all the trinkets Seokjin litters in his desk space. “I’ve been here a week, and Seokjin has already gotten us in trouble with Yoongi for not following protocol.” And Yoongi wasn’t actually mad, and the rule breaking was what let Namjoon and Seokjin wrap up the case. “And this morning, he bought me a coffee.”

“Wait, what’s even bad about the last one?”

Namjoon tugged at his hair. “He’s insulting my ability to stay awake on the job? I don’t know! But I do know that I don’t like him, and he drives me crazy most of the time, so I’d appreciate it if you didn’t insinuate something different.”

Hoseok looked like he was about to say something again, but he was interrupted by the sound of the door opening, the sound followed by the sound of someone stumbling in. At first, Namjoon was relieved for the interruption.

And then his heart sank in his chest when he realized it was Seokjin, holding a bag of take-out.

“Uh, hi?” Seokjin said, waving with his free hand. “I was just thinking that if you two were going to have lunch together, that maybe we could just all eat together…”

“Hyung-”

“Though it looks like I was just interrupting!” Seokjin smiled, though something was missing. Namjoon couldn’t tell what though, too panicked about the fact that Seokjin obviously overheard part of their conversation, and if he had figured out that Namjoon liked him, it was gameover for Namjoon and he didn't want that. He really didn’t want that. It was one week into knowing Seokjin, and the last thing Namjoon wanted to do was ruin their friendship permanently.

“Though I have to say Namjoon, I’m a little bummed I only drive you crazy most of the time and not all of the time, so I’ll try to boost up my game,” Seokjin said, smiling mischievously, the same smile that made Namjoon wanted to throw himself against a wall for all sorts of reasons, but it was also a relief to see because it meant that Seokjin didn’t think that Namjoon liked him. Seokjin was acting like he always did.

“Anyway, I won’t bother you two, so-”

Hoseok interrupted Seokjin. “Actually, Namjoon was just telling me his tummy hurt and that he was going to have to bail on lunch plans with me, so maybe you’ll join me instead?” Discreetly, Hoseok squeezed Namjoon’s arm, and while it hurt, Namjoon was thankful Hoseok was giving him an opportunity to escape.

“Oh, yeah, I said that,” Namjoon said, happy to go along with the lie. He stood up from the chair, making sure to grab his bag. “Anyway, Hobi, thanks for talking with me, I think I have a good idea now.” He didn’t have a good idea, not a single one, but now he was flustered by getting caught having that kind of conversation with Hoseok, and he was more interested in finding a way to exit than actually finding an actually good solution to the problem he had come to Hoseok to address in the first place. 

Namjoon quickly exited the room, walking straight past Seokjin without even looking up because if he actually looked Seokjin in the eye, not only was he going to die of shame, he might accidentally stare at Seokjin with Feelings and blow his cover. 

He closed the door behind him, trying not to think too much about what just happened. Instead, he locked down on what he had decided: he didn’t like Seokjin. Even if the erratic thumping of his heart disagreed, Namjoon didn’t like Seokjin, he couldn’t like Seokjin, and that was the end of the conversation.

A moment of hesitation. Namjoon pushed the door back open, peeking inside to look at what Hoseok and Seokjin were doing. They weren’t laughing at him, right?

They weren’t laughing at him, or at least, not that Namjoon could tell. Seokjin wasn’t even facing Namjoon, instead caught in a hug from Hoseok. Namjoon had a moment of envy when he thought about how nice it might be to hug Seokjin, but he immediately squashed it. Why would he be envious of a hug from Seokjin? It wasn’t like he liked Seokjin.

Before Namjoon could shut the door again, he caught Hoseok’s eye -  or at least, he thought it did, but maybe Namjoon was mistaken, because it looked like Hoseok was glaring at him from over Seokjin’s shoulder. He couldn’t imagine why Hoseok would glare at him though, so he dismissed the idea before closing the door again and walking away, ignoring his throbbing heart and the urge to turn back around just so he could see Seokjin.

After all, Namjoon wasn’t in love with Kim Seokjin.

 

+++

 

Namjoon wasn’t in love when Yoongi called him into his office, and Namjoon was absolutely positive he was about to be fired. He wasn’t sure what he was going to get fired for, but he had a bad feeling it had to do with the fact that no matter how many times Namjoon informed himself he wasn’t in love with Seokjin, his heart continued to flutter, and every action of Seokjin’s had Namjoon’s brain turning into mush.

He closed the door behind him and tried his best to not flinch at the sight of Yoongi sitting at his desk with one of the most serious expressions Namjoon had ever seen on him. Definitely fired , he thought, already trying to think of a million excuses to get away with continuing to lie about his feelings for Seokjin.

“Namjoon, you didn’t invite Seokjin along, right?” Yoongi asked, glancing at the closed office door.

Namjoon shook his head. “No, you said not to in your text.”

Yoongi stared at Namjoon, confirming that he wasn’t lying, before nodding in approval. “Good. I didn’t want to say it in my text, but I wanted to talk to you about Seokjin.” And oh no, that was exactly what Namjoon didn’t want to hear. 

“What about him?” Namjoon kept his cool, or at least tried too, unsuccessfully stopping himself from nervously running a hand through his hair.

Yoongi didn’t look impressed by Namjoon’s poor acting, but he didn’t comment on it either. Instead he gestured for Namjoon to take a seat in front of the desk, and Namjoon prepared for Yoongi to pull out termination paperwork.

Instead, Yoongi surprised him with a question instead.

“Namjoon, would you feel more comfortable if you were partners with someone other than Seokjin?”

Namjoon blinked.

“What do you mean?”

Yoongi sighed. “I mean that I understand if working directly with Seokjin is hard on you, and I’d be more than happy to have you switch partners with either Jimin or Taehyung.”

Jimin and Taehyung had transferred to Seokjin’s team earlier that year, and as far as Namjoon was concerned, the two of them were stuck together like glue. He did like both of them, and had already worked a numerous amount of cases with them and had enjoyed working with them as a team. However, no matter how much thought he put into it, he just couldn’t picture working with either of them as his partner. 

Well, really, he couldn’t picture working with anyone other than Seokjin. But he wasn’t ready to admit that yet.

“No, I’m happy with the current situation,” Namjoon answered, which was a really simplified, less embarrassing version of, “I couldn’t imagine being partners with anyone but Seokjin.” 

Yoongi didn’t look convinced. “Are you sure? Aren’t you in love with him?”

Namjoon waited for the ground to swallow him whole, because that was all he was hoping for at this point, face red from Yoongi’s blunt accusation. “No,” Namjoon lied.

Yoongi sighed. “Well, if you were in love with him,” he looked Namjoon up and down, “which clearly you’re not, but if you were, I’d understand that it’s probably quite exhausting to constantly be around someone and pretend you’re not in love with them.”

Namjoon frowned. “I’m not in love with Seokjin.” Sure, he couldn’t imagine being partners with anyone else, but that didn’t necessarily mean he was in love with Seokjin. And being around Seokjin was exhausting, but it was due to Seokjin’s antics that tended to drive Namjoon crazy and definitely not due to Namjoon trying to withhold his feelings.

“I didn’t say you were,” Yoongi said. “But you obviously have some frustrations with Seokjin, related to that or not, and I’m asking if you’d rather be partnered with someone else."

“No.”

Yoongi looked surprised. “Are you sure? I don’t think anyone would mind.”

Namjoon would mind. Namjoon would mind a lot, because at the end of the day there was no one’s side he wanted to return to more than Seokjin’s.

“No, I’ll pass on the offer,” Namjoon said, shaking his head. He stood up from the chair, looking back at the office door. He had left Seokjin abruptly to come talk to Yoongi, and he wasn’t even sure where his partner was at the moment. Hopefully it wouldn’t take long to find him. “Is there anything else you need from me?”

Yoongi’s skeptical expression had melted into something much fonder, the tight line of his lips slowly turning into a small smile.

“You know, Hoseok kept complaining that you were completely hopeless,” Yoongi said, “but I think you have some of the important things figured out.”

Namjoon wasn’t sure what that meant, but something about Yoongi’s smile was reassuring, even if Namjoon didn’t know what he was being reassured on. Maybe Namjoon was afraid that he was making a mistake by staying as Seokjin’s partner, and Yoongi was there to tell him he wasn’t making a mistake. It didn’t even hit Namjoon how worried he was about it until he was out of Yoongi’s office and halfway down the stairs and he ran into Seokjin, who looked at him with wide eyes, and then a smile.

“I was just looking for you,” Seokjin said.

Namjoon smiled. No mistakes. He was supposed to be at Seokjin’s side.

“Yeah, me too.” Namjoon laughed. “I’m always looking for you, hyung.”

 

+++

 

Namjoon wasn’t in love when Seokjin texted him at two in the morning, a short message of ‘ Namjoon, look at this ’ with a link to a video titled ‘Training my Pet Treefrog to Ride my Cat’. He rolled his eyes when he read the message, but he still clicked the link and let it bring a smile to his face, giggling as he sat by himself on the couch, bundled up in a blanket and wide-awake.

He was surprised to see another text waiting for him when he exited the video twenty minutes later, another text from Seokjin: “ y r u still awake’ .

It was only then that Namjoon remembered he had read receipts on, and he bit his lower lip as he began typing an answer. They had seen each other at work earlier that day, but it had been a short day at work after being sent home early once they wrapped up the case they had been working on for the past week. It was a long, exhausting week, and Namjoon was positive he would fall asleep almost immediately upon arriving home. Instead, it was two in the morning and here Namjoon was, forgetting about the tension in his body for just a second to think about the fact that Seokjin was taking the time to text him.

i can see u typing.’

Another text. ‘is it because of what happened today

Namjoon tucked himself tighter underneath his blanket, barely able to see his phone screen with the way the blanket was wrapped around him. His shaking hands didn’t help.

He kept tapping his fingers against the screen, but before he could delete the message he had started again, his phone rang. Startled, Namjoon almost dropped the phone, only saving it from it’s doom of clanging to the floor in a scramble to pick it up once he saw that the caller ID was Seokjin.

“Hello?” His voice came out quieter than expected, coarse from crying. It definitely doesn’t hide what he was hoping it would, and he sighed, knowing that Seokjin could pick up all the small differences.

The pep talk Namjoon was expecting doesn’t come through though, just a moment of silence that had him so sure that he accidentally hung up that he repeated, “Hello?”

More silence. And then, finally, “I’m coming over.”

Namjoon wished he didn’t have time to ponder what that meant, but he did. He had so much time, between being hung up on and between Seokjin actually arriving about twenty minutes later. Seokjin knew the code to Namjoon’s place - he wasn’t really sure since when, but at some point it just felt easier to let Seokjin know - so when Namjoon heard the front door swing open, he wasn’t surprised. He wasn’t sure if he had it in him to react to anything - he felt numb, and even as he heard Seokjin walk over to him once he noticed his presence on the couch, even with all that time to think, Namjoon had no idea what he was supposed to say. 

His first easy breath of the night came out when he saw Seokjin standing in front of him. His partner was wearing what one would expect someone to be wearing at two in the morning: pajamas. However, it wasn't just pajamas, but the flannel cartoon-print pajamas Namjoon had gotten Seokjin for Christmas last year, paired with an oversized pink sweatshirt that Namjoon knew had once belonged to his own closet, long since surrendered to Seokjin.

He had a bag slung over his shoulder, but Namjoon didn’t have time to ask what was in it before Seokjin closed the distance between them, and wrapped his arms around Namjoon.

“Hyung?” Namjoon squeaked, arms squished to his sides by Seokjin’s embrace. The cold wind of the night blew into the apartment, but it was still incredibly warm for Namjoon, who felt his face getting redder and redder the longer Seokjin hugged him.

“I know you're not good with hugs, but you looked like you needed one,” Seokjin finally said, still not letting go of Namjoon.

“I don’t need a hug,” Namjoon lied.

Seokjin sighed dramatically. “Everyone needs a hug from me. Didn’t you know, Namjoon-ah? Hyung gives the best hugs.”

Seokjin did give the best hugs, and Namjoon slowly found himself melting into Seokjin’s embrace and finally, he wiggled his slack arms enough so he could return the hug, sighing against the crook of Seokjin’s neck as his hands held onto the fabric of Seokjin’s sweatshirt.

“C’mon, let’s get you in bed,” Seokjin said when he finally pulled away, Namjoon’s hands still lingering on Seokjin’s body. As if the hug from Seokjin had taken all the tension from his shoulders, Namjoon found himself easily pushed back to his bedroom, not even protesting when Seokjin tucked him in bed. On the free side of the bed where Namjoon often dreamed of what it would feel like to have a significant other fill the other side, Seokjin took a seat.

The lights were off, and with Seokjin’s hands running through Namjoon’s hair, it felt only natural to close his eyes.

“Did you want to talk about it?”

“No,” Namjoon responded without really thinking about it. When he realized the abruptness of his response, he quickly backtracked. “I mean, I’m happy you asked, and I probably should talk about it, but maybe it’s just…” Namjoon turned his head so half of it was pressed into his pillow, hoping it would get him to shut up.

The image from earlier in the day still played in Namjoon’s head, over and over again, a broken record of a bullet flying just right past Namjoon, and directly into the chest of one of the backup guys beside him.

He didn’t know what scared him the most. Namjoon was sent home only a few hours after the whole incident, them wrapping up the case soon after that as they were finally able to take down the perpetrator, and the last thing he had heard, the guy’s vitals were miraculously steady and they were expecting him to recover. So while there was a little bit of worry and guilt mixed together from somehow not protecting the guy standing next to him, Namjoon didn’t think that was what scared him the most.

Maybe it was the fear for his own life. After all, he had practically felt the bullet fly past him, and where the guy who got shot ended up lucking out, maybe Namjoon wouldn’t have had the same luck; his gut twisted when he thought about the fact that his own life could’ve ended today. And that felt lame, felt ridiculously uncool to have signed up for a job like Namjoon’s but still worry about things like that when it was all part of the job. So Namjoon didn’t want to tell Seokjin that, didn’t want Seokjin to know how uncool he was.

Or maybe he didn’t want to talk to Seokjin about it because of what probably scared him the most: Seokjin, who had been standing on the other side of Namjoon, and how the bullet missed him by luck of the draw, the shooter choosing to shoot to Namjoon’s left rather than Namjoon’s right. It scared him, that Seokjin could’ve been the one in the hospital, the one who might’ve not made it out alive. 

Seokjin meant too much to Namjoon, and it was days like this where Namjoon had to reflect on the nature of his job and wonder if it was really worth stopping himself from shouting to the entire world how much Seokjin meant to him.

Seokjin’s hand was warm, and Namjoon was thankful for the fact that he ignored the tears leaking from the corners of Namjoon’s closed eyes.

“You don’t have to say anything, Namjoon-ah,” Seokjin says softly. “I’m sorry today was such a bad day. But I promise you’ll feel better if you get some sleep rather than keeping yourself up all night thinking about it.”

A tear flowed down Namjoon’s cheek.

“I’m sorry for bothering you, hyung.”

“Nonsense. You can call hyung whenever you can’t sleep. Whether it’s from work, or a bad dream, or maybe you just drank too much coffee in the evening.” That got Namjoon to smile, and Seokjin stroked the top of Namjoon’s head again. “I’m always here for you, Namjoon-ah.”

Namjoon wasn’t in love, but as he closed his eyes to the sensation of Seokjin petting his head, he decided it’d be okay to just dismiss the feeling of I love you as part of his dream as he drifted off to sleep.

 

+++

 

Namjoon wasn’t in love as he hurriedly dug through Seokjin’s shelves, throwing whatever looked important into the suitcase on the floor. At this point, Namjoon wasn’t sure that everything piled up was actually going to fit in the suitcase, but it was the last thing on his mind. He was much more concerned by the fact that his second alarm of the night had already gone off, which meant that they had approximately eight minutes left to leave Seokjin’s apartment if they actually wanted to catch their flight.

“Hyung, did you finish grabbing clothes to bring?” Namjoon asked as he threw Seokjin’s toothbrush towards the growing pile. He had given up on trying to find a travel-sized toothpaste and had settled on letting Seokjin borrow his.

“Namjoon, don’t rush me!” Seokjin shouted from his bedroom.

Namjoon groaned. “Hyung, you’re the one who decided to wait until so late to pack. Seriously, aren’t you tired of doing this every time?”

Seokjin poked his head out of the bedroom to stick his tongue out at Namjoon. Namjoon, who was absolutely keeping his cool, mirrored Seokjin’s action.

“The only thing I’m tired of is you rushing me,” Seokjin grumbled, pouting at Namjoon as if it wasn’t Seokjin’s fault to begin with that Namjoon had to rush him. “Besides, you’re the one who showed up late.”

“Hyung, I’m not even supposed to be here! We were supposed to meet at the airport, like,” Namjoon glanced at his watch, “thirty minutes ago.”

Seokjin clicked his tongue. “Well, if you would’ve just came over after my first emergency text, then we could’ve stayed on schedule.”

“Hyung, you texted me an hour ago that you were worried your Switch wasn’t going to charge in time.”

“Exactly! An emergency! If you would’ve just come over right away with your super fast charger, I could’ve spent my time packing.”

Namjoon thought the hair brush he had in his hands at the moment looked like the perfect projectile to throw at Seokjin. “Hyung, why didn’t you just plug your Switch in and let it charge while you packed?”

“Well, I went to plug it in but it felt really nice in my hands, so I decided I needed to play it a little bit. Like, pre-flight warm-up, you know?”

Namjoon chucked the hairbrush, and Seokjin squealed as he ducked to dodge it. It still felt nice though, even if it obviously had no effect on Seokjin at all, who decided to retreat back into his bedroom.

Namjoon unfortunately realized too late that throwing the brush that he needed to pack actually meant he would have to go and retrieve it, and with a regretful sigh, he wandered over to Seokjin’s room to go and grab it off the floor.

“Oh, Namjoon, your aim is getting better I think,” Seokjin joked when he saw Namjoon enter the room to pick the brush up. At this point in Namjoon’s Plan To Get to the Airport On Time, he was supposed to ignore any of Seokjin’s attempts to distract him, tell his partner to hurry up, and continue to pack the rest of Seokjin’s non-clothes essentials. 

(If Namjoon knew his brain wouldn’t shut down the moment he had to go through Seokjin’s underwear drawer, he’d be packing Seokjin’s entire suitcase.)

However, Namjoon had the occasional moment of weakness, and most of them had to do something with Seokjin. So he found it hard to leave the room when Seokjin turned to him, holding up two different shirts up to his chest.

“Which one looks better?”

One of the many things Namjoon had learned after working with Seokjin for over a year was that for Seokjin, there was no looking ‘better’, there was simply Seokjin looking good in one outfit, or Seokjin looking good in another outfit. However, Namjoon knew their mission destination was going to be in a colder area, so he was about to recommend the shirt with the longer sleeves when he realized the other shirt looked oddly familiar - the odd part being that it definitely had belonged to Namjoon at some point and Namjoon had no recollection of ever giving it up.

Namjoon bit his lip. Worst case scenario and Seokjin was cold, he could just borrow one of Namjoon’s jackets, right?

“The green one,” Namjoon answered, not making eye contact. He really hoped Seokjin didn’t know that Namjoon realized the shirt was his. And he really hoped that if Seokjin did know, that he didn’t process the reason behind why Namjoon wanted him to wear the shirt. Even Namjoon didn’t really want to process the reason behind why he wanted Seokjin to wear his shirt.

Seokjin didn’t say anything about it though, only humming in approval before tactlessly throwing the unwanted shirt on the floor (Namjoon already knew once they got back from the mission that he’d be helping Seokjin clean his apartment) and tossing the green one in the pile on Seokjin’s bed with presumably the rest of Seokjin’s clothes for the trip.

Namjoon eyed the time on his phone warily - four minutes to leave if they wanted to catch their flight. Maybe six or seven if they ran.

“Hyung, is that the last of it?” Namjoon approached the pile of clothes, ready to scoop it up and somehow shove it with everything else into Seokjin’s suitcase.

“Ah, actually, yeah,” Seokjin said, and Namjoon sighed in relief because they were actually going to leave on time, everything was going to be okay, he wasn’t going to have to listen to Yoongi berate them for not making their flight again -

“Wait, I actually need to pack a belt,” Seokjin said, quickly turning back to his dresser. He started opening all the drawers at once, slamming them open and shut, brows becoming more and more furrowed as he looked. “Shit, what drawer did I put them in? I haven’t had to use a belt in forever, but I need one for my holster-”

“Hyung, you put them up here, remember?” Namjoon pointed to the shelf at the top of Seokjin’s closet, where there were a few bins with miscellaneous accessories, hats, and belts. It was easy enough, so Namjoon took the initiative to grab the bin down for Seokjin, holding it out for him. “Hurry up and pick one or else we’re going to be sprinting to the terminal.”

To Namjoon’s relief, Seokjin did quickly pick out a belt, happily singing something about how running through the airport sounded like a fun day. Usually Namjoon would retort about something that definitely does not sound fun, but Seokjin had something else to say.

“I think you know where things are in this place better than I do,” Seokjin joked, though Namjoon wasn’t sure if it actually was a joke. “You know, you might as well just move in and live with me, you know the house so well.”

That one was definitely a joke, Namjoon reassured his rapidly beating heart.

 

+++

 

Namjoon isn’t in love.

Namjoon isn’t in love, not at all, never has been. Or at least, he hasn’t been in love with Kim Seokjin. Maybe he was at one point - maybe it’s crossed his mind a time or two. But he’s not in love, and he’s certainly not going to fall in love.

He’s not in love with Kim Seokjin, he’s really not, but Namjoon, almost as if he is in love, stares as Seokjin slowly undresses, formalwear falling to the ground as they both prepare to retire for the night. The piano recital went later than Namjoon expected, and even though he’s no longer sleepy from the influence of an extra glass of wine, his eyelids feel exceptionally heavy.

Except at the same time, he feels like every nerve in his body is lighting up, feeling his breath catch in his throat as he watches Seokjin grab the bottom of his shirt and tug upward. The sliver of exposed skin becomes an entire canvas, and all Namjoon can do is stare.

The staring isn’t as discrete as Namjoon wishes it was. Even with his back turned to Namjoon, Seokjin must have some sort of idea of Namjoon’s gaze, because he turns around a moment later, and when his gaze meets Namjoon, he tucks his chin in and bites his lip.

He doesn’t look mad, or upset, really. Maybe something just short of shy, which may be one of Namjoon’s favorite things about Seokjin: bold in his every moment, even sometimes brazenly so. But on the rare occasion, Namjoon gets to see a shier side of Seokjin whose ears turn pink the moment you compliment him.

“Namjoon?” Seokjin says, quietly but not quite a whisper, like his voice is hiding in the back of his throat. He grips his recently stripped shirt, holding it close to his body. Namjoon wonders if Seokjin thinks it’s actually covering him at all. Because it’s not, it really isn’t, and Namjoon isn’t sure what to do about how warm his body feels about that.

Namjoon’s mouth feels dry, unable to decipher the emotion behind Seokjin’s gaze but knowing very well that it’s intense enough to have Namjoon feeling a lot of things. And a lot of those things aren’t things Namjoon is allowed to say.

“Mm, just thinking about how handsome my husband is.”

And there it goes, the blush traveling all the way to the tips of Seokjin’s ears, and Namjoon watches joyfully as Seokjin reaches up in an attempt to hide them.

But then it’s followed up with a soft laughter, and with raised eyebrows and an amused smile, Seokjin says, “Oh, aren’t you being nice.” Namjoon knows Seokjin thinks he’s messing around and playing his role, but there’s a part of him that wishes that Seokjin knew he was being sincere. If Seokjin’s been single for the past couple of years, when’s the last time someone properly held Seokjin and told him how attractive he is?

Still wearing the same smile, Seokjin walks up to Namjoon, and Namjoon tries not to think too much about how Seokjin drops the shirt in his hands at the same time, because while it wasn’t really covering anything before, now it’s really not covering anything and Namjoon thinks it’d be nice to throw himself into a wall around now.

Seokjin’s hands find their way onto Namjoon’s tie, fingers wrapping around the fabric before gently tugging. It’s not enough force to move Namjoon, but he finds himself leaning towards Seokjin anyway, letting himself be kissed just a moment later.

The kiss is brief, but Seokjin’s lips still linger, pressing another kiss to the side of Namjoon’s mouth, a kiss Namjoon desperately wants to capture with his lips but can’t when Seokjin pulls away again, whispering, “You’re acting so nice, I can only assume you’re expecting something in return tonight.”

Namjoon feels light-headed at the mention of something , and barely recovers because he remembers that this is just Seokjin going along with their little act, the act that he thinks Namjoon started even though Namjoon isn’t acting, not really.

But maybe it’ll be okay if he just acts as if he is.

“Do you even need to ask?” Namjoon mumbles, sharply inhaling when Seokjin’s lips find their way to his neck. He needs to hold onto something, something to ground him, and the fact that his hands reach out and grab Seokjin’s waist is simply so Namjoon doesn’t float away.

Namjoon is aware of the way he lets himself be pushed back onto the bed, but he’s unable to protest that he hasn’t changed out of his formal clothes yet. Luckily, it seems like Seokjin has realized, hands working diligently to remove Namjoon’s tie before moving on to the buttons of his shirt.

“Okay?” Seokjin whispers, lips pressed together in a tight line as he looks up at Namjoon. Through the view of his long eyelashes, Namjoon can see the hesitancy in his gaze, and Namjoon wonders if Seokjin knows that there’s never been not okay in his dictionary when it comes to Seokjin.

Namjoon nods, and they both giggle when Namjoon’s chin bumps the top of Seokjin’s head. The giggling doesn’t last for long though, Seokjin pressing a kiss to Namjoon’s collarbone as he unbuttons Namjoon’s shirt, until his fingers work all the way to the bottom. Namjoon’s shirt falls open, and the way Seokjin looks at Namjoon isn’t good. Not good at all. Not because Namjoon doesn’t like it, but because he does like it, and he can feel heat pooling in his lower abdomen that should definitely not be present with his partner sitting on top of him.

It feels like Seokjin’s head fits against Namjoon’s neck perfectly, lips puckered against the slope of Namjoon’s throat. There’s a hesitant nip, but it becomes a small smile pressed against his neck when Namjoon sighs happily at the sensation, relaxing even more against Seokjin. A gentle hand rests on the side of Namjoon’s face, warm, a feeling Namjoon chases until the hand slides up to his hair and tugs, and it’s almost too much combined with the feeling of Seokjin’s hot breath against Namjoon’s neck.

Just like before, it starts with a kiss to Namjoon’s jaw, trailing down to just below his ear, down his throat, but this time each kiss is warmer, longer, and at the base of Namjoon’s neck, he feels the movement of Seokjin’s lips finally stop. 

“Namjoon-ah,” Seokjin says, “is it okay if hyung leaves a mark?”

Namjoon wonders if it’s possible for his head to feel so incredibly empty, yet running at a million miles per hour. He stops breathing, wondering if there’s even a good way to answer a question like that. Or at least, a question like that in a situation like theirs. His mind feels blurry, yet acutely aware of every single spot on his body where Seokjin is touching him. While he doesn’t have a good answer, he thinks starting with Seokjin is a good start.

“Only if I get to leave a mark on hyung later,” Namjoon finally responds.

Something like a whimper leaves Seokjin’s lips, the end of the sound vibrating against Namjoon’s neck as Seokjin once again presses his lips to Namjoon’s neck, but this time sucking at the skin underneath.

Namjoon almost feels like crying when Seokjin pulls away, reassured only by the soft touch of Seokjin’s thumb brushing against the same spot he just marked, pushing with just enough pressure that Namjoon can feel the beginning of the bruising, even if it’s not visible yet.

“Still okay?” Seokjin whispers, pressing gentle kisses to the marked spot.

More than okay, really, but Namjoon chokes out a quiet yes instead. He feels breathless, especially when Seokjin returns to his ministrations, lips once again attached to Namjoon’s skin. Namjoon feels hot, too hot, with his entire head clouded yet completely aware of Seokjin pressing into him, completely aware of his hands that at some point have traveled down to Seokjin’s thighs, grounding him in Namjoon’s lap.

Another hot kiss to Namjoon’s neck, and he knows he’s getting too close .

”Hyung, if you keep doing that, I’m gonna-” Namjoon sharply inhales as Seokjin continues to mark his way down Namjoon’s neck. 

Seokjin pauses. “Do you want me to stop?”

“God no,” Namjoon says before he can even think. Not that he can think; not with Seokjin’s hand intertwined in his hair, gently pulling Namjoon’s head to the side to reveal more of his neck.

“I mean it, hyung, I’m gonna, I’m gonna-” he tries to think of anything else that isn’t Seokjin sitting in his lap and using his pretty lips to leave entire body-pleasuring kisses to the sensitive skin of Namjoon’s neck. It doesn’t go so well, he’s really, really trying not to get a hard-on while his partner is sitting in his lap.

He wonders where the predicament would fall in HR protocol, or really, where it’d fall in the case of common sense . Because while Namjoon doesn’t know much, he knows that something about the situation isn’t right, isn’t right at all, but he can’t just push Seokjin away, not when he so nicely asks.

“Don’t worry about that,” Seokjin huffs against Namjoon’s skin, “me too.” And with a slow, purposeful movement he grinds his hips down against Namjoon’s and Namjoon comes to the horrifying realization that Seokjin is hard. The horrifying part isn’t actually Seokjin’s erection pressing against Namjoon, but it’s the fact that now Namjoon is undeniably hard due to his partner’s arousal and worst of all, said partner can definitely feel how hard he is.

“Oh god.” Namjoon isn’t religious, but now he almost wishes he was, because at least then he’d have someone to pray to help explain what the fuck is going on. He’s spent three years not being in love with Seokjin, spent three years acting like the occasional wet dream about his partner was totally normal , but now he has a very obviously hard Seokjin pressing against him and Namjoon feels like all those years of purposeful ignorance have gone to waste.

His inner-turmoil is quickly forgotten though when he sees Seokjin’s panicked face, completely red like he’s embarrassed that he just tried to grind against Namjoon, and Namjoon can’t get the words out of his mouth fast enough to explain to Seokjin that it’s okay (it’s really not, but it is, but it’s not, but it is -) and if he hadn’t gotten off in the shower earlier that day he probably would’ve just came.

The words won’t come quickly enough, so Namjoon does the best next thing he can think of.

With no act of subtleness, Namjoon uses his grip on Seokjin’s thigh to pull him down further onto Namjoon’s lap, and he lifts his hips up to meet Seokjin’s.

He’s reassured with a surprised gasp from Seokjin, the gasp originating from the sudden increased grip on Seokjin’s thighs - turned into an unexpected moan. It’s encouraging, and Namjoon can barely stop his hips from bucking up towards Seokjin, but he remembers his words and asks, “Okay?”

In response, Seokjin grinds against Namjoon again, this time more purposefully. “Okay,” he says, leaning forward and kissing Namjoon on the lips, and Namjoon is quick to oblige and part his lips for Seokjin, grip on Seokjin’s thighs intensifying as he feels Seokjin’s tongue move against his.

It’s the only encouragement Namjoon needs, and he begins rocking his hips against Seokjin. The quiet moans from Seokjin, Namjoon quickly swallows, but slowly the grinding of their hips becomes faster, harder, sloppier, and it’s too hard to kiss properly and instead Namjoon can feel Seokjin panting into the crook of Namjoon’s neck. Seokjin’s hands press against Namjoon’s chest, and Namjoon moans embarrassingly loud when the pad of Seokjin’s thumbs brush over his nipples.

“You’re sensitive there, huh? I would’ve never imagined,” Seokjin murmurs in amusement, pinching the nub and Namjoon can feel the smile pressed against his neck as Seokjin wins another moan out of Namjoon.

“Isn’t everyone?” Namjoon grumbles, embarrassed, but it’s nothing compared to how light-headed he feels, and how even as pressed up to Seokjin as he is, Namjoon just wants to feel Seokjin even more .

Seokjin pulls back, looking at Namjoon with raised brows.

“I don’t know, maybe you should find out?”

And Namjoon, never one to back down from a challenge from Seokjin, slips his hands underneath Seokjin’s ass, grinning at Seokjin’s moan when he gives a gentle squeeze. Then he uses the leverage he has to lift Seokjin as he stands up, laughing when Seokjin scrambles to wrap his limbs around Namjoon before Namjoon turns them around so he can throw Seokjin onto the bed. Seokjin lands on his back, and even though Namjoon is quick to crawl on top of him, Seokjin’s hands still grab desperately near the lapel of Namjoon’s shirt to pull him back to him.

“Okay?” Namjoon knows at some point it’ll become annoying if he keeps asking, but he’s so afraid that at any point Seokjin is going to realize he doesn’t want to find convenient pleasure within the excuse of the job.

But Seokjin doesn’t push Namjoon away like he keeps expecting, and Seokjin uses the grip on Namjoon’s shirt to pull him down for another quick kiss.

“I’m all yours, Namjoon-ah.”

“Oh.” Namjoon imagines Seokjin saying the same thing in a world where they aren’t deep undercover, in a world where Namjoon hadn’t cowarded out years ago and had tried to make Seokjin fall in love with him. “Oh, okay. That’s good.” That’s really good .

“Oh, but maybe turn the silencer on? It’s not really my thing to know that my coworkers are watching me on some little screen in a surveillance room,” Seokjin suddenly adds quietly, and Namjoon had been vaguely acknowledging the fact that they weren’t completely alone in the room. But he was also much more occupied acknowledging Seokjin, which felt much more important.

After a moment of hesitation, Namjoon takes one of his hands and slips it down the front of Seokjin’s pants, gripping his hard cock through the fabric of his boxers.

“Are you sure it’s not your thing? I think this would say a little bit differently.”

Seokjin’s hips naturally buck up to meet Namjoon’s hand where it is, desperate for the friction that had disappeared once they had stopped grinding against each other. He whines a little when Namjoon pulls his hand away, even though it’s only so Namjoon can reach over into the bedside table to grab the silencer.

However, when he quickly opens the bedside table drawer, the silencer comes tumbling forward, along with a couple of other items that Namjoon definitely wasn’t expecting.

“Uh.” He flicks the silencer on, letting the soft ringing fill the room, and his hands can’t help but naturally go to examine the other items in the drawer that Namjoon still isn’t really sure if he’s seeing properly or not.

Seokjin glances over at Namjoon’s hesitation, and after a moment of shock, says, “Fucking Jimin.”

The bottle of lube is definitely not what Namjoon was expecting, and oh god why was it even in there? It has Namjoon reevaluating the entire situation, because somehow he has a bottle of lube in his hands, a packet of condoms in sight, and a very hard Seokjin still wiggling underneath him.

“It could’ve been Taehyung, he’s been in the room too,” he manages, a little distracted by the way Seokjin’s fingers dig into his back.

Seokjin nods. “True, but let’s blame Yoongi.”

“He hasn’t even been here-”

Seokjin clicks his tongue. “But I like blaming Yoongi for things. It’s funny.”

Namjoon thinks it’d be a lot funnier if his dick wasn’t throbbing from neglect, and he looks hesitantly at the lube in his hands, and then back at Seokjin.

“I should put it back.” His hands feel shaky when there’s no immediate response. “I should put it back, right?”

Seokjin pauses, and finally sighs. “Yeah, but maybe later.” And he lifts his hips off the bed and slowly rolls them against Namjoon, letting Namjoon forget about processing what later meant. 

He leans over and kisses Seokjin, whispering, “Ah, hyung, you’re so impatient,” against his lips before leaving a trail of kisses downwards, past his cheeks, past his jaw, past his neck, past his collarbones, all the way down until Namjoon can press a wet kiss to Seokjin’s chest, grinning at Seokjin’s sharp inhale as his breath ghosts over Seokjin’s nipple.

You’re sensitive there, huh? I would’ve never imagined ,” Namjoon imitates Seokjin’s voice to the worst of his abilities, laughing when Seokjin lightly swats at him before proceeding to hold Seokjin still as he takes his nipple gently between his teeth and tugs.

“Fuck,” Seokjin groans, and with how tightly Namjoon is pressed against Seokjin, he can feel his dick twitch in his pants. It’s the perfect encouragement for Namjoon continuing, using a spare hand to pinch Seokjin’s other nipple as he continues to tease Seokjin’s nipple with his mouth.

By the time Namjoon feels satisfied with his work, Seokjin’s nipples are red and puffy, and the overall area of Seokjin’s chest is marked with little love bites from Namjoon, though he’s not sure how many of them will last more than the night. There’s one right where Seokjin’s heart lies underneath, and that’s the one that Namjoon prays stays the longest.

“Namjoon?” Seokjin calls out softly, and that’s what pulls Namjoon’s attention away from tracing his finger over the love bite over Seokjin’s heart.

“Yes, hyung?”

He doesn’t get an actual answer, the closest thing to an answer being Seokjin looking at him, lips red from being bitten (from both Seokjin and Namjoon alike), before Seokjin grabs him meeting Namjoon half way as he sits up partially and kisses Namjoon again. It’s not an actual answer, but it’s the closest thing Namjoon’s got to understanding any of it, which is why he lets Seokjin reverse their positions in the bed so that he’s sitting on top of Namjoon again, and Namjoon happily provides Seokjin a thigh to straddle.

Seokjin’s leaning over Namjoon, hands pressing against Namjoon’s chest. He wears the same looks of hesitation he had the first time they were practicing, and Seokjin had said he was going to kiss Namjoon, and he didn’t.

This time Seokjin isn’t saying anything, gaze looking Namjoon up and down, and Namjoon’s breath is caught in his throat. He waits for it to be like that first time, waits for Seokjin to pull away and realize that he doesn’t want to do anything Namjoon, waits for Seokjin to realize that they’ve gone past the borders of practicing and now all they’re doing is indulging Namjoon and his poor attempts to keep his feelings for Seokjin locked away.

He doesn’t say anything, the only sound leaving his mouth being soft little pants as he starts to grind against Namjoon’s leg, and Namjoon thinks he could get off by just the sounds and feeling of Seokjin’s erection pressing against him. But his hips betray him, finding a rhythm that’s compatible with the roll of Seokjin’s hips. 

“Namjoon.” Seokjin’s pants and whimpers have gotten louder and louder, the rhythm that had existed at first becoming sloppier, faster, more desperate as both of them chase after their own pleasure. “Namjoon, I don’t want to come in my pants.”

Contradictory to his words, Seokjin continues to rub himself against Namjoon, and it’s impossible to stop another moan from leaving Namjoon’s mouth; the physical pleasure combined with the dirty language is too much - and it just reminds Namjoon exactly what they’re doing. A part of him wonders if he should question it a little more - and another, much stronger, part of him thinks he should do something about Seokjin’s predicament.

“Then maybe I should take them off,” Namjoon suggests, hooking his fingers around the waist of Seokjin’s pants. It’s to tease him more than anything, which is why he’s surprised when Seokjin nods immediately in response, shifting his weight to his knees and hands, hips lifted up. He stares at Namjoon expectantly, and Namjoon realizes that he’s waiting for him to take off his pants.

It’s not as graceful of a move as Namjoon wishes it was. The button and zipper come undone easily enough, but the tight fit of the pants combined with the layer of sweat they’re covered in plus any other additional moisture makes actually pulling the pants more difficult than Namjoon would prefer. But Seokjin is patient with him, laughing quietly when Namjoon apologizes for taking so long.

He pulls off Seokjin’s pants and underwear off at the same time, and Namjoon is so caught up in the success (he throws Seokjin’s pants on the floor away from the bed triumphantly) that he almost forgets that now he has a completely naked Seokin sitting on top of him. Almost.

It’s not like Namjoon didn’t know Seokjin was hard - it was kind of hard to ignore, but now there’s nothing to hide Namjoon from Seokjin’s red, straining, hard dick presented right in front of him, pre-cum dripping down the length. Namjoon only looks away to see Seokjin’s expression, expecting something like embarrassment. He’s shocked to find Seokjin looking at him with hooded eyes, flushed cheeks, and parted lips.

“Namjoon, is it okay if I…” Seokjin doesn’t finish the sentence, opting to tug at Namjoon’s pants. The thought of being so exposed next to Seokjin, who practically shines, has Namjoon wanting to curl in on himself. But then Seokjin adds a soft, “ please ,” and Namjoon nods quickly as he lifts up his hips and helps Seokjin wiggle his pants off.

And then his pants are off, Seokjin’s pants are off, and there’s redlights going off in Namjoon’s head that are screaming that this is a bad idea. Not that being naked in bed with your work partner isn’t bad, but Namjoon thinks it’s even worse when you're in love with said work partner.

Seokjin shifts forward, pressing their erections together, and Namjoon sees white.

“Okay?”

It’s a really good thing that Namjoon isn’t in love with Seokjin. No, not at all, which means while this is a bad idea, it’s not a super bad idea.

Namjoon nods his head. “Yeah, okay.” His fingers press so tightly against Seokjin’s hips that he’s worried about leaving bruises. So he lets go, hands sliding down to Seokjin’s thighs until the pads of his thumbs press against Seokjin’s inner thigh, centimeters away from his straining cock.

“Hyung, is it okay if I touch you?” The words aren’t Namjoon’s, yet they come from his mouth and he kind of wants to melt, and even more so when Seokjin nods.

He wraps a hand around Seokjin, not sure what makes his head spin more: how hot Seokjin feels against his hand, or the way Seokjin moans at the flick of Namjoon’s wrist. The latter is what encourages him to continue, stroking Seokjin and eliciting more pretty noises.

It’s all too much, the feeling of Seokjin in his hand, the sound of Seokjin in his ears, the taste of Seokjin against his tongue as he leans over and sloppily kisses him, the kiss interrupted by Seokjin’s gasps as Namjoon quickens the pace.

It’s all too much, and Namjoon almost thinks that he could finish just like that. But he still takes his other hand, bringing it into his own lap before reaching for his own throbbing dick and-

Namjoon’s hand is swatted away, and out of surprise his hand on Seokjin comes to a halt, and he looks down at Seokjin’s hand that swatted him away before looking up at Seokjin. 

“You can’t just…” Seokjin furrows his brows, lips pressed together in a firm line as he tries to gather his words. “You can’t just do all the work by yourself.”

Namjoon blinks, not quite sure what Seokjin means, and when Seokjin realizes Namjoon’s confusion, he whines a little, looking at Namjoon with a huff.

“Just let hyung help you, okay?” And it finally clicks when Seokjin’s hand hovers right above Namjoon’s dick. “Okay?”

“Very,” Namjoon says without thought, because his brain has shut down because Seokjin’s offering to touch his dick, his dick that has been in dire need of attention. Luckily, Seokjin just giggles at Namjoon’s agreement, taking a deep breath before wrapping his fingers around Namjoon’s cock.

It doesn’t last very long after that. Namjoon can tell Seokjin is close, just based on the way the movement of his hand has become sloppier, and he’s almost completely collapsed on top of Namjoon, hot breath hitting the skin of Namjoon’s neck.

Seokjin comes calling out Namjoon’s name, toppling over so that his weight rests on Namjoon as he finishes. There’s a sticky mess between Namjoon’s hand, Seokjin’s dick, and parts of Namjoon’s tummy, and paired with Seokjin’s dazed strokes of his dick, Namjoon finds himself chasing his own orgasm not even a minute later, crying out as he reaches his peak and all he can see is white.

It leaves a sticky mess between the both of them, and part of Namjoon thinks it’s kind of hot, and another, much more tired part of Namjoon thinks it’s pretty gross and knows he should get up and help clean them off. But he has all of Seokjin laying on top of him, a comforting weight that Namjoon can’t find in himself to push off, especially when Seokjin immediately wraps his limbs around Namjoon the moment he moves, as if he’s afraid Namjoon will walk off without him.

“Hyung, we should get cleaned up,” Namjoon says, using his clean hand to run his fingers through Seokjin’s hair, damp with sweat. It’s too tempting to kiss the top of Seokjin’s head, so once again, Namjoon indulges himself and does so, smiling at the contented sigh that follows.

“Don’t wanna,” Seokjin grumbles, shaking his head. Namjoon can feel Seokjin’s pout.

It’s hard to feel motivated to stand up when Seokjin’s pout turns into small kisses, including a kiss that brushes just where the love bite Seokjin left earlier is, and the feeling sends a tingle down Namjoon’s spine, toes curling.

“Don’t you think it’d be nice to clean up?” 

“I think,” Seokjin says, now kissing Namjoon’s neck much more purposefully, “it’s later now.”

And Namjoon is just processing what later means as Seokjin rolls over to grab something from the bedside table, there’s a knock at the door, and like a magic spell coming to an abrupt end, they jump away from each other.

“Fuck, do you think it’s Jimin?” Seokjin asks, eyes not meeting Namjoon and instead looking at the ground where his clothes have been thrown all over, before deciding to yank the top sheet off the bed and wrap it around himself.

“Well, it’s too late for it to be housekeeping of any sort,” Namjoon says. He thinks it being Jimin or Taehyung is a good bet; they’re probably concerned why Namjoon and Seokjin turned on the silencer. Or, as Namjoon’s brain unfortunately reminds him, they saw exactly what was going on before the silencer went on and now one of them is here to bug Namjoon about it. He already knows that at this point, there’s no getting out of an explanation for Jimin, but for now, he can at least pretend there is.

Namjoon grabs the closest pair of underwear on the floor, wrinkling his nose at the wet patch at the front. He’s tempted to grab a blanket to cover up like Seokjin has, but Namjoon figures that after a few years of working with the same team, they’ve all seen him down to his underwear anyway - there’s nothing to hide.

Except when Namjoon opens the door, it’s not Jimin or Taehyung on the other side. In fact, it’s an older gentleman who Namjoon doesn’t recognize at all, not from the guest list or from the staff he’s seen around.

“Can I help you with something?” Namjoon asks, hiding himself behind the door and only peeking his head out. He’s embarrassed for being caught in such a state by a stranger, but he’s also a little annoyed by the person who’s bothering him so late at night, and his tone reflects it.

“Pardon for the intrusion,” the man says, glancing down at Namjoon’s undressed state for only a brief moment. “I am an employee of Mr. Oh, who has chosen to retire for the night and asked me to communicate business with you.”

“Business?”

At Namjoon’s confusion, Seokjin appears, an arm wrapping around Namjoon’s waist as he stands from behind, peeking over Namjoon’s shoulder.

“Mr. Oh? Oh Jungsoo?” The man nods, and Seokjin continues, “Does Mr. Oh intend to participate in the auction?” Seokjin asks coldly, to a point where it surprises Namjoon before he realizes that Seokjin has slipped back into his role as an experienced arms dealer who doesn’t need to put up with people bothering him late at night.

“Yes, he-”

Seokjin sighs loudly. “Well, tell him next time that I would appreciate it if he didn’t wait until the last minute, and if he would do it himself rather than send someone else.” Namjoon can feel Seokjin’s arm tense, a pause before Seokjin asks, “What’s your name, anyway?”

The older gentleman doesn’t look fazed by Seokjin’s cold tone, and Namjoon wonders how many times his employer has sent him to be involved in illegal cases like this; it certainly doesn’t seem like it’s his first time dealing with criminals.

“Yoon Youngho,” he introduces himself as, expression neutral and voice flat. “I’ll be sure to pass the message on to my employer. For now, what is the top bid for the auction?”

Seokjin tells him the highest bid - Namjoon isn’t even sure what it is, and he has a sneaky feeling from the way Seokjin spits out the words that the number he’s giving is a lot higher than the actual highest bid. However, it doesn’t seem to scare away the gentleman, who simply nods in acknowledgement.

“That seems to be within Mr. Oh’s price range, so on his behalf, I will place a bid,” he says. Seokjin steps aside to write down the bid, quickly returning to help Namjoon wish the gentleman a good night before shutting the door on him.

“I’m so annoyed right now,” Seokjin grumbles against Namjoon’s shoulder, completely embracing him from behind. “Who the fuck sends their assistant to place their fucking bid this late at night?”

Namjoon considers it. “Someone who trusts their assistant a lot. But I’m surprised, I didn’t even realize Oh Jungsoo had an assistant.” He recognizes the name, and he knows he’s seen Oh Jungsoo at the different events, but unlike how Jiwoo is constantly by Jiyeon’s side, Namjoon hasn’t seen Yoon Youngho with Oh Jungsoo at all.

It hits him.

“Youngho wasn’t at the bingo event,” Namjoon says, turning his body within Seokjin’s embrace so he can face him, ignoring how close that puts them so he can keep focusing on the sudden thoughts he’s having. “Hyung, I didn’t see him there at all. I mean, we should definitely check the footage from the bingo event, but…”

“If he wasn’t there, that means he could be our killer,” Seokjin says, and he quietly opens the door again, peeking out into the hallway. Empty. He looks back at Namjoon once he closes the door, wearing a small grin.

“It looks like we’ve got a new lead on the case.”

Chapter Text

Namjoon wakes up to the feeling of someone hovering over him, and he’s barely awake enough to register the feeling of lips pressing against his forehead.

“Oh,” Seokjin says quietly when he realizes that Namjoon’s eyes are open. Namjoon stares at the slight blush of his cheeks, positive that his own cheeks are starting to look the same as Seokjin continues to hover over him.

“Good morning?” His voice is still groggy with sleep as he blinks up at Seokjin, who’s staring back at Namjoon like a kid who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

“‘Morning,” Seokjin answers back, finally pulling back from Namjoon and rolling to his side of the bed before sitting up. The white t-shirt Seokjin used for pajamas must be old, the collar worn out and loose to a point that it dips low enough that Namjoon can see the beginning of the marks he left all over Seokjin’s chest the night before.

Part of him wants to push Seokjin down onto the bed and check if the one right above his heart is still there or not.

Namjoon restrains that part of him, opting to respectfully look away, eyes closed as he sits up and stretches his arms up to the ceiling. His morning alarms haven’t gone off yet, which means it’s earlier than he expected (or wanted) to wake up. There’s a decent amount of light shining through the windows though, so it can’t be too early.

“So what’s the plan for the day?” Namjoon asks, unable to draw his gaze away from Seokjin as he stands up, the covers slipping off and revealing the pair of boxers Seokjin fell asleep in and more importantly revealing a lot of leg that Namjoon very respectfully chooses to keep looking at.

“Jimin and Taehyung called and said they want to meet up with us before the day starts.” Seokjin follows Namjoon’s gaze, looks back up at Namjoon, and with tightly pressed lips he grabs the top cover off the bed and quickly drapes it over himself.

“What time?”

Seokjin glances at the alarm clock on the bedside table. It’s barely seven. “I doubt they’re up yet, but they didn’t specify a time. We probably have time to grab a quick breakfast before meeting up with them.” Seokjin looks at Namjoon, brows raised. “If you’re hungry?”

“Starving.” Namjoon never stops looking at Seokjin as he responds.

Namjoon thinks the comment goes unnoticed by Seokjin, who is no longer focused on Namjoon and instead digging through one of the suitcases on the floor. But then he sees the tip of Seokjin’s red ears, and he catches the sneaky glance aimed back at him that’s paired with a small, shy smile - and Namjoon wishes he could pretend that he’s the only one who could get such a reaction from Seokjin.

Seokjin picks out an outfit - and it’s only because Namjoon is still staring intensely that he’s able to spot the clothes in Seokjin’s hand - which is all it takes for him to snap out of his stupor and realize that the suitcase Seokjin has been digging through this entire time isn’t Seokjin’s, but Namjoon’s, and the shirt Seokjin has snagged is the one he had in mind for the day.

“Hey!” He sits up in bed, kicking the remainder of the blankets off - they come tumbling down the side of the bed and land - thud . Barely audible over the sound of Seokjin’s laughter, squeeks and snorts, locking him in place as Namjoon immediately rushes over to where Seokjin is.

Except Seokjin only finds even more joy in Namjoon’s sudden energy, and he laughs even harder before running away from Namjoon. The hotel room isn’t that big, which leads to Seokjin leaping onto the bed, tauntingly raising his eyebrows at Namjoon. “Can I help you with something?”

“Actually-”

“No? I figured,” Seokjin says smugly, holding the shirt tight to his chest. He bounces on the bed as he speaks, hair flying up on every descent. “Now why don’t you go pick out some clothes for the day so we can get going?”

“Hyung, you realize you’ll have to come down from there to grab pants, right?”

“Oh, you’re not gonna come up here and join me, Namjoon-ah?” Namjoon doesn’t like that Seokjin knows that he definitely doesn’t want to start jumping around on the bed - ignoring their downstairs neighbors, Namjoon worries more about one of them (him) falling off the bed during the process.

However, Namjoon eyes how close to the edge of the bed Seokjin is (most certainly on purpose, knowing how nervous it’s making Namjoon) and after a moment of consideration, reaches over to wrap his arms around Seokjin’s legs - and he lifts him up.

Seokjin shrieks, immediately flailing his arms and legs until he realizes that any unnecessary movement is going to have him lose his balance as Namjoon carries him away from the bed, laughing as Seokjin complains about how he should’ve never gotten that gym membership for Namjoon’s birthday.

It’s hard to keep a proper hold on Seokjin with the way he thrashes around, so Namjoon lets him slowly slip downward between Namjoon’s arms until Seokjin’s feet hit the ground and now they’re face to face with Namjoon’s arms wrapped around him.

Seokjin wrinkles his nose. “You caught me.”

“You can’t win all the time, hyung,” Namjoon says, throat dry. Neither of them move from their spot, and if it weren’t for the ticking noise of the clock hanging on the wall, Namjoon would be convinced that time had stopped.

“I’m always winning if I’m with you,” Seokjin replies. Namjoon doesn’t really get it - maybe it’s because Namjoon can never resist letting Seokjin win; not when his proud, winning smile brightens the whole room the way it does.

Namjoon has nothing to say to that, especially when he finally gets the courage to actually look at Seokjin and notices that Seokjin’s eyes have drifted down to his lips, and it’s all Namjoon needs to surge forward and kiss Seokjin.

It startles Seokjin at first. He jumps in Namjoon’s arms, cruelly surprised as if he wasn’t the one staring at Namjoon like he wanted to be kissed, and there’s a moment of panic that settles over Namjoon - this is the time he’s gone too far, this is the time Seokjin is going to call him out for his feelings, this is the time everything’s going to be ruined - but then Seokjin throws his arms around Namjoon’s neck and pulls him even closer.

It feels like the night before all over again, but at the same time, rather than a weight pushing him down on top of Seokjin, Namjoon feels incredibly light, like at any moment his feet might lift off the ground. 

A hand slips underneath Seokjin’s shirt, to feel the expanse of his back and shoulders, and he can feel the shiver that runs down Seokjin’s spine when he nibbles at Seokjin’s lower lip, tugging at it with his teeth. Namjoon carefully walks them back until Seokjin’s back hits a wall, allowing Namjoon to press his entire body against Seokjin, shoving a leg in between Seokjin’s thighs. He swallows Seokjin’s gasp, grounded by the whine Seokjin makes when he works his mouth open with his tongue. It’s paired with the sound of Namjoon’s shirt falling out of Seokjin’s grasp and onto the floor - thud .

Namjoon pulls away quickly, only slightly tempted by the way Seokjin leans forward to chase after his lips. He thinks about the shirt falling, falling and falling until it’s out of Seokjin’s reach. 

Namjoon’s falling, falling and falling, and he wonders when he’ll finally be out of Seokjin’s reach; his heart thuds in his chest, but shows no signs of ever hitting the ground.

He uses his foot to kick the dropped shirt up into the air high enough so he doesn’t have to bend down too far to reach it and snags it with his hands just as he reluctantly lets go of Seokjin. The falling shirt is finally back, safe in Namjoon’s hands. Maybe that’s where all of Namjoon’s falling things should be.

“Definitely my win this time, hyung,” Namjoon says with a wink, laughter covering up any nerves he has as he stares at Seokjion’s dropped-jaw expression. He hides his expression by turning around, knowing his cool expression will crack any moment.

Namjoon slips his shirt on, and jumps a little when he feels a pair of arms wrap around him from behind. He relaxes when he realizes it’s Seokjin, and then tenses because it’s Seokjin and he’s hugging him from behind and despite everything they’ve already done, Namjoon wants to melt into the floor. 

“Hyung?” With Seokjin’s face pressed against Namjoon’s back, Namjoon really hopes that Seokjin can’t hear how fast Namjoon’s heartbeat is. 

A beat of silence. A shaky breath. And finally-

“I love you, Namjoon-ah.”

It catches Namjoon off-guard, so early in the morning, and even though he knows it’s all part of the act and all the people listening to them, his face turns red and all his brain is willing to tell him is that maybe just a little bit, he wishes it was real.

Namjoon doesn’t think he can respond without being a little bit honest about it, but Namjoon knows that he can’t stand another second of silence, Seokjin’s body pressed against his, hot breath hitting his back.

Namjoon needs to act casual. Nonchalant. Definitely needs to sound like he’s actually not in love with Seokjin. Which he’s not. He’s not in love with Seokjin, and he definitely finds it easy to finally swallow the lump in his throat and respond in the most non-affected way possible.

“I love you too, babe,” Namjoon says, twisting his neck around so he can try to peek at Seokjin’s expression, but it’s a pointless maneuver - Seokjin’s face is still pressed into Namjoon’s back, and Namjoon holds his breath when he realizes Seokjin has gone stiff.

“Hyung?” Namjoon manages to keep the panic out of his voice, but a bad feeling settles in his stomach when Seokjin still doesn’t respond, and all that can go through his mind is that Seokjin knows . And that is definitely the worst case scenario. Because the exact reason Namjoon is not in love with Seokjin is because if Namjoon was in love with Seokjin and Seokjin found out, it would ruin their entire relationship - as both partners and as (tentative) friends.

Namjoon doesn’t get to stew in his own worry for long - the arms wrapped around him suddenly drop, and a moment later he feels a set of palms pressing against his back and pushing him away. It’s a gentle push, but it’s enough for Namjoon to stumble and take a second to turn around to see what happened - and by then, Seokjin has already turned around and started taking large strides towards the bathroom. Seokjin doesn’t even hesitate when opening the bathroom door, and he slams it behind himself.



+++

 

Namjoon finds himself heading towards the roof by himself again, though this time when he expects to find just Jimin, he’s surprised to see Taehyung waving him over as well.

Jimin and Taehyung have already taken a seat in the same spot Jimin and Namjoon sat last time, so it shouldn’t feel too different, but the way Jimin and Taehyung are staring Namjoon down makes him want to run the other way and hopefully never have to look back.

“He looks nervous,” Taehyung says to Jimin, as if they aren’t both perfectly aware that Namjoon is just a few feet away and can clearly hear them. “Hey, Jimin, why do you think he looks so nervous?”

“Because I’m glaring at him,” Jimin says, which is very true. “Do you think he’s going to pretend like nothing happened last night?”

“Yes, he is,” Namjoon says, running a hand through his hair. “Because nothing happened last night.” It starts to replay in his head, each piece of clothing dropping to the floor, Seokjin pressed against him, the taste of Seokjin in his mouth…

Jimin points his finger at Namjoon.

“You guys totally fucked last night and you’re telling me it was nothing ?”

Namjoon sputters, “We didn’t fuck last night.”

“No no no, you’re not the one who had to sit through the camera footage last night, you don’t get to tell me that you didn’t at least get each other off.”

Namjoon goes silent at that, and despite being the one to accuse Namjoon, Jimin’s jaw drops when he realizes that Namjoon isn’t denying anything. He bounces in his seat, almost vibrating. “Wait, oh my God , wait-”

“So what did you guys do after you turned the camera off?” Taehyung puts a hand on Jimin's thigh, perhaps stopping Jimin from vibrating into another dimension.

“Let’s talk about the actual case instead, how about that?” Namjoon musters his best glare, even though he doesn’t think he could ever have it in him to actually be mad at Taehyung or Jimin. If anything, he’s mad at himself - he should’ve thought more about the consequences before indulging himself like he did last night. 

“Boring,” Jimin says with a sigh, but he drops it for now as he pulls out his case notes. “So we were able to take the knife you guys found and confirm that it was the murder weapon. As expected, we didn’t find any fingerprints or DNA evidence that didn’t belong to the victim.”

Namjoon sighs. “Of course not. Anything from the body?”

“Hobi-hyung’s exact words were ‘stop sending me useless bodies’, so not exactly,” Taehyung chimes in, unrealistically raising the pitch of his voice when imitating Hoseok. It gets a laugh out of Jimin, who Taehyung proudly smiles down at.

“Not exactly?”

“Here’s the thing,” Jimin says. “We know the murder weapon, and we have a general time of death. From the moment the victim started giving us audible clues that something was going on to the moment we barged in, a little less than two minutes passed. We walked in with the victim still alive, which Hobi said that with the stab wound he had, meant he had been stabbed almost immediately before we got there.”

Namjoon tries to put the pieces together in his head. “So you think the victim struggled against the perpetrator for at least a minute?”

“Exactly. We know the perpetrator most likely came through the front door, so it’s not like they were able to catch the hitman by surprise. And from the evidence, the victim was able to react fast enough to fight back. I’m thinking that if it was someone the victim knew, they would’ve let them get a lot closer and wouldn’t have been able to catch their attack.”

Taehyung nods, backing up Jimin’s statement. “You texted us last night about Oh Jungsoo’s assistant, Youngho, right? You nailed him as a potential suspect for not being present at bingo and being affiliated with one of the bidders.”

Namjoon bites his lip. He had texted Taehyung last night when the revelation came to Seokjin and him, but something sounds off. However, he doesn’t want to dismiss Taehyung and Jimin’s theory so fast, so he adds to the thought. “If Oh Jungsoo was the guy who hired our hitman and decided he didn’t want to pay him or was unsatisfied with his work, it would make sense that he would send his assistant to do the dirty work, considering he let his assistant place his bid as well.”

“Exactly-”

“Or our victim could just be a trained hitman who doesn’t trust anyone, meaning he would have enough time to react whether he knew the killer or not.”

Jimin pouts, pulling on Taehyung’s sleeve. “He’s punching holes in all my theories, make him stop.” All Jimin gets out of Taehyung is a kiss to the forehead, which has Jimin giggling and Namjoon mock-gagging (at this point, he’s too used to them to actually be disgusted).

“Anyway,” Jimin finally says after getting another handful of kisses applied to various locations of his face, “while you keep an eye on Oh Jungsoo and his assistant, we’re waiting for the tech team to get us something off of the hitman’s phone and computer. Even if there’s no viable phone numbers, we’re hoping there’s at least some sort of clue. Ideally, a bank statement if his client didn’t pay in cash.”

“And since we’ve narrowed down our suspect list potentially, we’re hoping to get access to Oh Jungsoo’s bank account records and see if we can find anything on his end,” Taehyung says. “Even if we can’t get him on the murder, we’ll probably end up digging up some other fraud anyway.” Taehyung nods. “Eat the rich, am I right?”

“I was thinking more like eat the breakfast, but that sounds good too,” Namjoon says, rubbing his stomach. “Is there anything else we should be looking out for?”

“Looking out for the chemistry between you and Seokjin-hyung,” Jimin sings, pulling Namjoon close so he can throw an arm around him. “The only murder I wanna talk about is the murder of some ass , which obviously you two were pretty busy with last-”

“I said it was nothing,” Namjoon says, voice harsher than he expected. He wonders if his words are really only aimed at Jimin and Taehyung. “Right now we’re a married couple, and we’ll act like it until this is all over.”

“And when it’s over?”

“Then we go back to normal,” Namjoon says, and the sound of heartbreak - thud. 

(Maybe he was so wrapped up in falling away from Seokjin that he forgot that he’s more likely to break when he hits the ground).

Jimin looks like he wants to say something, but he presses his lips into a tight line instead. He stares at Namjoon, like he’s trying to convey a message with his eyes, but Namjoon has no idea what the message is and he stares blankly back at Jimin until the staring contest ends with an exasperated sigh from Jimin.

“If you’re in love with him, you should just say it,” Jimin finally says, biting his lower lip like he’s holding back from saying more, and then, “Are you doing yourself any good denying it?”

Taehyung snorts. “I feel like another person on this rooftop could take the same advice.”

Jimin jabs Taehyung in the stomach with his elbow.

“Hyung, seriously, you’re being ridiculous, just-”

Jimin’s interrupted by the all-too-familiar tune of a love song that Namjoon could sing in his sleep at this point - and it’s all he needs to pull away from the conversation with Jimin and pull out his phone.

“You okay?” Seokjin calls for dumb reasons all the time (ranging from really bad jokes he just thought of to a random kitten sighting) but Seokjin’s the one that decided they should split up in the morning, and Namjoon’s had a bad feeling in his gut ever since. He doubts Seokjin is calling over something minimal in a situation like this.

“I need your help,” Seokjin says, and Namjoon is already standing up, ignoring Jimin and Taehyung’s concerned looks. His instinct is screaming to immediately run to wherever Seokjin is, but he knows that he needs to plan out whatever move he makes next in case the situation is urgent.

“Where are you?”

“Same place we had breakfast yesterday.”

“What’s the problem?”

Seokjin sighs.

“I wish I would’ve paid more attention to my high school English classes.”

 

+++

 

“I can’t believe you panicked and called me for a fucking translator,” Namjoon says when he finally arrives at Seokjin’s side. 

As Seokjin promised, they’re at the same breakfast diner as the day before, but this time they’re at a table for four, and sitting across the table from them is the American couple. The man is tapping his finger impatiently on the table, and the woman has her eyes glued to her phone as she vigorously types.

“Apparently the four English phrases I know weren’t enough to conduct an arms deal,” Seokjin says jokingly, scooting aside on the bench so that Namjoon can slide in next to him. “And don’t be too shocked, but these assholes don’t know a word of Korean.”

Namjoon deadpans. “What would you have done if I wasn’t here?”

Seokjin shakes his head. “Don’t be silly, I wouldn’t let you leave my side even if you wanted to.”

Namjoon blinks. Seokjin is already looking at him impatiently, and Namjoon knows that Seokjin has no idea how much his words have Namjoon’s head spinning. The sound of Seokjin’s finger tapping against the tabletop is a clock ticking, seconds flying away from Namjoon.

“I wouldn’t leave you, hyung,” Namjoon blurts, deciding it was the absolutely wrong thing to say when Seokjin blinks back at him in confusion - of course Seokjin didn’t think anything serious of it. Just another one of Seokjin’s jokes.

Namjoon is eager to switch the conversation, so he finally looks over to address the Americans. “ You have business with us ?” He asks in English, doing his best to keep his brain on when Seokjin reassuringly squeezes Namjoon’s thigh.

You must be Deimos ?” The man asks.

Namjoon cools his expression. “ While we’re here, call me Namjoon. Your name?”

The man huffs. “ Lukas Winter . Will you be the only one speaking today ?”

Namjoon glances over at Seokjin. “I don’t think he likes you being a bystander,” he says, not bothering to translate everything. Seokjin likes to act like he can’t speak English, but Namjoon has faith in his abilities to at least keep up with the conversation, even if Seokjin doesn’t want to admit it. The only reason Namjoon doesn’t say anything about it is deep down, he enjoys the fact that it’s one subject where he’s finally the one helping Seokjin and not the other way around.

“You can’t blame him for not wanting to miss out on this charming face,” Seokjin says confidently, smiling as he gestures to his own face. Namjoon laughs like he always accidentally does, but he also marks down the look of confusion on the Americans’ faces in reaction to Seokjin pointing to himself - they definitely don’t secretly understand Korean. “But hey, ask these fuck faces why they didn’t submit their bid yesterday? I have half a mind to tell them that we’re closed for business.”

Namjoon covers his mouth to muffle his laugh as he looks back at Lukas. “ You do realize bidding ended yesterday, correct ?”

Lukas shrugs, not looking too bothered by Namjoon’s scolding. “ Does it really matter? All I need to do is offer more money, yeah ?”

Seokjin must’ve been able to understand that much of the man’s english, because with a cold face he spits out the highest bid at the man. Or at least, Seokjin says it’s the highest bid, but Namjoon hasn’t been keeping exact track and at this point he’s convinced that Seokjin is raising the bid mark without consideration to the truth.

Lukas scoffs in disbelief. “ For what you’re offering? That price? Are you sure you’re speaking correctly ?” He turns to Namjoon expectantly. “ What’s the actual high bid ?” When Namjoon repeats what Seokjin had said (he tries not to pay too much attention to Seokjin’s exaggerated eye roll in fear of accidentally laughing), Lukas looks even more frustrated.

Can neither of you actually speak ?” Namjoon sees Seokjin starting to stand up in his chair from the corner of his eye, and he’s quick to place a reassuring hand on Seokjin’s thigh - to both calm him and keep him in place. 

Lukas doesn’t notice, more distracted by searching the room until he sees what he’s looking for - and he waves his hands in the air and shouts, “ You, hey you! From yesterday!”

It doesn’t take long to find the confused waiter who Lukas is obviously trying to catch the attention of. Namjoon recognizes the face of the waiter who had been helping Lukas out the night before, but he remembers him even more as the staff member who caught Seokjin and Namjoon coming out of a closet and he stiffens as he watches the waiter hesitantly walk over, looking intrigued at the sight of Seokjin and Namjoon at the other side of the table and Namjoon wants to groan aloud because the waiter definitely remembers them. 

Lukas isn’t hesitant to confirm any suspicions of ill intent the waiter might’ve had of Seokjin and Namjoon. “ You speak Korean, yeah? Help me with this transaction .”

Seokjin reacts before Namjoon does. “What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” He growls, glaring at Lukas and then glaring at Namjoon when Lukas stares blankly back at him. 

The waiter pays no mind to Seokjin’s hostile attitude, bowing his head to Lukas. “ I’m happy to help .” He glances at Seokjin and Namjoon, and Namjoon can see the cogs turning in his head, trying to piece together everything. The chances of the waiter guessing that they’re actually undercover detectives seems slim, but so are the chances of the one person who caught Seokjin and Namjoon being suspicious being the person who ends up getting dragged into the bidding.

The conversation doesn’t last for long. Seokjin takes over the conversation and Namjoon trusts him enough to zone out, his job now thrown out the window as translator. He listens just enough to make sure there aren't any mistranslations, but the actual words in his head aren’t piecing together to have full meanings.

The only time Namjoon steps in is when he can see Lukas become more and more annoyed as the waiter proves that the price Seokjin is selling at isn’t a mistranslation and he starts yelling at the waiter and raising his voice - and not only does Namjoon have years of bad memories of working as a server in college, he also doesn’t want the entire dining hall to know what nefarious plans Seokjin and Namjoon are involved in. And even that doesn’t require much intervention; it only involves Namjoon stepping in as a third English voice to remind them to keep things quiet.

Namjoon is in the middle of tracing his name on the fabric of Seokjin’s pants when the conversation wraps up. Or at least, he assumes it’s wrapping up as Lukas stands up and Seokjin relaxes in his seat, relieved.

And when should I expect my purchase to be delivered?” Lukas asks. He doesn’t even look at Seokjin, addressing the waiter. 

“Does this asshole realize he’s supposed to be having a conversation with me?” Seokjin hissess.

Namjoon snorts. “Do you want me to tell him that?”

“Tempting, but I'd rather end the conversation. What did he say?”

“He wants to know when he can pick up his purchase.”

“Tell him when pigs fly, that fucking cheapskate isn’t winning any auction.”

Namjoon looks at Lukas. “ If you win the auction, expect at the end of the event week .”

Lukas ignores Namjoon and looks at the waiter, and it takes both Namjoon and the waiter to realize that he’s waiting for a confirmed translation.

If you win the auction, expect at the end of the event week ,” the waiter repeats, and that’s all it takes to satisfy Lukas.

“Alright, thank you for your work,” Lukas says, taking one glance at the waiter. “Your English is very good, by the way. You almost sound like you're from the States.”

The waiter deadpans. “Thanks, I was born there.”

Lukas doesn’t seem very impressed with the information, and he turns away and leaves with a low huff. 

The waiter doesn’t dismiss himself along with the Americans, glancing back over at Seokjin and Namjoon. A wave of panic comes along with the waiter’s stare - he’s the same man that caught Seokjin and Namjoon stumbling out of a closet, and now Seokjin and Namjoon have been officially revealed as suspicious.

“I won’t say anything,” the waiter says in Korean, almost like he’s reading Namjoon’s mind. “In my job, we run into this sort of business all the time. Not worth my time.” It’s not what Namjoon expects him to say, but it makes sense - a place like this that features so many wealthy guests is probably rich with crime.

Namjoon does his best to look disinterested. “Not worth our time to take you out even if you do decide to say something.” He tilts his head. “That being said, I wouldn’t get any ideas.”

“And if you do, I won’t hesitate to break every bone in your body,” Seokjin adds on nonchalantly, though his expression runs much darker. “Now be gone before I do it for you.”

The waiter gives Seokjin and Namjoon one last disinterested look before heading off, leaving the two of them alone.

Break every bone in your body ,” Namjoon mimics Seokjin’s gruff voice the best he can, but it still ends with Seokjin jabbing him. “What kind of mafia movies have you been watching?”

Seokjin grins. “None, I’ve just always wanted to try saying that. Kind of exciting, isn’t it? Giving people death threats and what not.” He tilts his head. “Besides, you really don’t like that guy, right? You mad he stole your translator job or something? You know, you’re not the only one who watched all fifteen million seasons of Friends.”

Namjoon frowns. “I don’t not like him. It’s more like I don’t like how he’s a current risk to the operation.”

Seokjin hums. “I’m not too worried. He might’ve seen us come out of the closet that one time, but besides that, there’s no reason for him to not believe we are who we say we are.”

It doesn’t seem reassuring enough to Namjoon, but he gives up trying to argue why, sighing. “I suppose you’re right. Besides, we should probably be focused on convincing our actual clients that we’re Deimos and Phobos. First round of bidding is done, and we still have no clue where the weapons are.” They talk as they walk, leaving the dining hall to take a trip down the hallway.

Seokjin nods. “Admittedly, it’s a bit risky to be offering things we don’t actually have, huh?”

Namjoon narrows his eyes at Seokjin. “And when have you ever cared about being risky?”

Seokjin grins. “I’m pretty sure I’m the most cautious person you know.”

Namjoon wants to start reading his 300-page essay of why that’s definitely wrong to Seokjin, but they’re disrupted by Seokjin’s phone ringing. It’s not the phone they stole from their dead arms dealers, but Seokjin’s personal phone.

Namjoon frowns when he sees the caller ID. “What could Yoongi be calling for?”

Seokjin shrugs. “Ideally? A pay raise.”

“And realistically?”

“Ah, Namjoon, you’re taking all the fun out of it,” Seokjin says before he picks up.

“Yoongi, I was just thinking about how much I missed you,” Seokjin answers the phone with, and even without leaning in to listen, Namjoon can hear Yoongi’s exasperated sigh.

“I’m hanging up,” Yoongi deadpans.

“Nothing to share with us? Don’t tell me you just called with the intentions of hearing my sweet voice,” Seokjin teases, winking at Namjoon as they both knowingly wait for another sigh on Yoongi’s behalf. It’s nice to see the improvement in Seokjin’s mood from when they had split up in the morning - Namjoon’s still not sure what was wrong, but he’s always relieved to see Seokjin’s smile. 

“Is Namjoon there?

“Are you implying that you don’t want to talk to me?”

“Always,” Yoongi immediately says. Just as it looks like Seokjin’s ready to add another silly response, Yoongi says, “But more importantly, I have some news that both of you need to hear.”

Until now, Namjoon’s been barely catching Yoongi’s words, but at the news he leans in so that he’s standing no more than a breath away from Seokjin, ready to pick up the information Yoongi has for them. It’d be more convenient if they were able to put the phone on speaker, but judging by the seriousness of Yoongi’s voice, he has some urgent information.

“What’s up?” Namjoon asks, letting Yoongi know he’s there.

“Are you guys in private? I’ve got a few things to share.”

They aren’t in private, the roof is farther than Namjoon wants to travel, and their actual room is bugged. The hallway doesn’t have any passing guests, but it’s not something Namjoon really wants to risk either.

Namjoon glances down the hallway, and almost laughs at the familiarity of the scene in front of him - except in a hallway empty of anyone besides them, Namjoon doesn’t even need to check if the storage closet a few doors down is unlocked before opening it and sliding both Seokjin and himself into it.

“Namjoon?” Seokjin falls forward on Namjoon, and Namjoon catches him easily in his lap.

Namjoon shrugs. “We need a private space, yeah?”

“And you don’t think we’ll get caught?”

“What was it you said last time? We’re hooking up in the closet or something?”

Seokjin leans forward so his forehead hits Namjoon’s shoulder. “I suppose I said something like that. Good job, listening to hyung. When did you start doing that?”

“Just around the time you started listening to Yoongi. Maybe we should be focusing on the call?” Namjoon doesn’t know how to explain that he’s never not remembered everything Seokjin says.

Seokjin is annoyed by the reminder, but he brings the phone back to his ear and lets Namjoon lean in closer to listen.

“Let me guess,” Seokjin says, balanced on top of Namjoon’s legs. Namjoon isn’t discreet when he pulls Seokjin closer and is tempted by the smell of his own shampoo on Seokjin, pressing his nose against the delicate skin behind Seokjin’s ear. “You’re here to tell me that you’ve found the weapons I’m supposed to be selling.”

Silence. And then, “That’s not the main reason I’m calling, but I did get some information about the plans of our two armsdealers for after this event. I figured you two may be interested in the information.”

“Not at all,” Seokjin says. “I really thought you might be calling for something actually exciting. Like, how’s your dog doing? Did you see that I liked and retweeted the picture you posted on Twitter? You know, I’m expecting you to return the favor when I upload a selfie later tonight.”

“Shut up, you know I like all your selfies,” Yoongi grumbles.

Seokjin smiles. “I know. Sometimes I post while we’re in the same room so I can see the notification pop up on your screen.”

It’s probably not the smartest move, but between making a plan to be ready to like Seokjin’s selfie tonight first (Namjoon has a track-record to keep, after all) and actually wanting to hear the information Yoongi has for them, his brain isn’t functioning its best which is why he nips at Seokjin’s ear, laughing quietly when Seokjin shrieks a little bit.

It seems to convey the message though, and Seokjin’s expression sobers. “Alright, I’ll let you tell me your supposed information, but only if you promise to take a star off by Namjoon’s name on my whiteboard.”

“Do I erase the hearts by his name as well?”

Seokjin’s nails dig into Namjoon’s leg. “No, that won’t be necessary.”

Yoongi sighs. “I’m not even gonna try to understand what you’re thinking. In fact, I’m going to totally disregard anything you’ve just said until now so I can just give you the information and continue on enjoying how peaceful my day was before I had to call you.”

“You know, that sounds like a lot of attitude for someone who-”

“I talked to some of my contacts about our two hitman, and was able to get some information on some plane tickets that are confirmed they booked.”

With Seokjin in his lap, Namjoon can physically feel Seokjin’s muscles tense, posture more rigid as he processes Yoongi’s words. “And?”

“They’re booked for the evening the event ends,” Yoongi says, “and the flight goes all the way to Europe.”

“They wouldn’t have time to go anywhere to pick up the weapons if that’s the case,” Namjoon says. “If the auction ends when the event does - which I’m assuming it does considering there’s no other reason for them to stay - then there’s no way they have time to wrap up the auction and go somewhere to go pick up the weapons.”

Seokjin lets out a low whistle. “Well Yoongi, I think you might not have to erase the star by Namjoon’s name anymore. I’m guessing this is what you called to let us know about, right? You think the weapons are in the area.”

Yoongi hums in approval. “From where the bodies were found we haven’t found anything. I feel pretty good about the idea that the weapons might’ve been dropped off in the area of the event beforehand. I’ve currently got a team assigned to investigating any storage lockers in the area.”

“Sounds good, we’ll keep our eyes peeled over here as well,” Seokjin says. “But that wasn’t what you wanted to tell us, right? It sounded like you had something else you wanted to say.”

“Yeah,” Yoongi says. “I’ll tell you if you let me draw a star by my name on your whiteboard.”

“Bribery? Really?” Seokjin laughs. “Good stuff, go ahead and add two stars after you finish telling us the scoop.”

“The tech team was able to get something off the audio from the bugs we had on the victim,” Yoongi explains. “They’re still working on it now that they’ve isolated it from the other noises, but it’s confirmed that they heard English while on the call.”

“From the hitman?” Seokjin asks.

“Can’t tell yet. Just know that someone was speaking English while in the room.” Yoongi scoffs. “Unless the hitman just happened to have the TV playing something foreign in the background and it just happened to be turned off by the time our team got there.”

“Well, it sounds like good enough evidence to me,” Seokjin sings, bouncing excitedly in Namjoon’s lap - which, great for Seokjin for being excited, bad for Namjoon because Seokjin’s bouncing in his lap and what is he supposed to do with that? His only solution is to tighten his grip on Seokjin in attempts to hold him in place, evening if holding him in place includes pulling him even closer against Namjoon. It makes it even harder for Namjoon to resist, and with Seokjin still on the call, he presses a soft kiss to the part of Seokjin’s ear he nipped earlier.

“Now Seokjin,” Yoongi starts, “This is definitely not permission to act on this information and do something crazy. It’s best we wait until the tech team gets back with the full story. They’ve also got Hitman Bang’s phone and laptop now, and they’re trying to see if they can pull any information off that.”

Seokjin turns back to look at Namjoon, revealing how red his face is (as if his ears hadn’t already given away how flustered he is). “Namjoon, I feel like Yoongi’s accusing me of doing rash and stupid things.”

“Remember that time you grabbed the suitcase I told you not to grab which ended with us getting shot at?”

Seokjin rolls his eyes. “Remember that time I grabbed the suitcase you told me not to which ended with us solving a case and catching the bad guys ?” He clicks his tongue, and goes back to addressing the phone. “Don’t worry Yoongi, I’m definitely not listening to you at all right now.”

“I would never make the mistake to assume you were,” Yoongi says with a sigh of defeat. “Just be careful, okay? Remember, safety first, and if you happen to catch some bad guys along the way, good for you.”

“Well, it’s looking great for us then, because I’m pretty sure I’m ready to catch the baddie behind all of this,” Seokjin announces confidently. “I’m no expert on the background of all of our suspects, but I know there’s only one asshole here who speaks English only.”

“Okay, but remember the part about not doing anything crazy-”

Seokjin hangs up, pulling the phone away from his ear and looking at the ended call screen with a content, almost proud smile. The smile doesn’t fade, but it changes into something else Namjoon can’t quite understand when Seokjin looks away at the phone and decides to glance at Namjoon instead, who’s been much more interested in leaving little marks behind on Seokjin’s neck.

“Namjoon, what are you doing?”

Namjoon doesn’t let go of his grip around Seokjin. He doesn’t have the courage to let Seokjin look at him, and he buries his face into the crook of Seokjin’s neck, murmuring against the skin, “I have no idea what you might mean, my sweet husband.” My husband . Maybe it’s the realization that the limited time of calling Seokjin his is running out, but Namjoon feels more reluctant than ever to let go. “My sweet, beautiful husband who I love very much.”  I love you .

Seokjin makes a noise in the back of his throat that Namjoon can’t comprehend.

“Are you doing this on purpose?”

Namjoon pauses. He doesn’t think Seokjin is asking as a serious accusation, because if Seokjin actually knew the feelings behind the way Namjoon touches him, surely he would’ve pushed him off by now. And truthfully, Namjoon doesn’t think he’s doing anything on purpose - barely even recognizes the way he automatically reached for Seokjin. He wonders when he became so spoiled.

“What do you mean, hyung?”

“What do I mean?” Seokjin furrows his brows. “Do you really not know?”

“Am I supposed to?”

A pause filled with silence. Then, “If you keep doing that, I’ll have to kiss you.”

Namjoon is greedy, and is quick to answer Seokjin’s threat by kissing him first, gently cupping his face with his hands. Seokjin melts in Namjoon’s grip, letting Namjoon lead the kiss while clutching the fabric of Namjoon’s shirt.

It’s selfish, so incredibly selfish, Namjoon enjoying the way Seokjin sighs when Namjoon buries his hands in his hair and gently tugs, continuing to kiss Seokjin, pretending for just a moment that he’s kissing Seokjin because they’re actually in love and not for…

Well, not for whatever they’re doing right now.

Namjoon is selfish, and he kisses Seokjin until they're both breathless, pulling away only to rest their foreheads against each other, and the only thing louder than Namjoon’s heartbeat is the sound of their heavy breaths intermingling.

“We should probably, uh,” Namjoon gets distracted when Seokjin closes the distance for a brief kiss, “follow up on our new lead? You think it’s Lukas, right?”

Seokjin hums, and kisses Namjoon again. “Yeah, yeah, we can get to that later.” And he kisses Namjoon again, a kiss that has Namjoon chasing after Seokjin’s lips when he pulls away, and he frowns when Seokjin slides out of his lap, hands leaving their spot on Namjoon’s chest and moving down to his thighs.

It doesn’t really click until Seokjin’s on his knees in front of Namjoon with his fingers fumbling with the button of Namjoon’s pants.

Namjoon feels like he’s choking. “Hyung?”

Seokjin looks up at him.

“You said it, didn’t you? That we were hooking up in the closet?”

“Well, I think you’re the one who said it actually-”

“Shut up and help me get your pants off.”

All Namjoon can do is nod.

 

+++

 

“Ah, no random employee to catch us this time,” Seokjin says when they finally emerge from the closet. He wipes the corner of his mouth with his sleeve, wrinkling his nose when he looks down at the stain now there. “Well, I’m glad we had an excuse ready anyway.”

“Uh, yeah. Good job thinking ahead like that.”

Seokjin looks back at Namjoon, which Namjoon does not appreciate - now that they’re not in the dark of the closet, facing Seokjin is a lot harder, and he barely knows how to keep his balance, much less his composure.

Namjoon swallows, hard. “What?”

Seokjin meets Namjoon’s gaze with a small smile - one that looks a little forced. “I guess we’ll be packing our bags up before the end of the week.” He gestures down the hallway, where Namjoon gets a glance of Lukas passing by. “There won’t be much reason to stick around once we get him into custody.”

“Oh, I guess,” Namjoon says, like the thought hasn’t been playing in his mind over and over again. He glances down at Seokjin’s hand, the one with the ring on it, and part of him yearns to take Seokjin’s hand in his and the other parts screams that the ring on Seokjin’s finger doesn’t belong to him, and it never will, and Namjoon’s not sure if he takes ahold of Seokjin’s hand now that he’ll be able to let go when he’s finally forced to when the case is over.

“Let’s go get our guy, yeah?” Seokjin says, forcing a brightened expression as he nudges Namjoon’s arm with his elbow. He walks ahead of Namjoon, and even if it’s just a few steps away he feels farther away than ever, but Namjoon shakes his head and catches up.

“I’m hoping he tries to punch me so I can punch him back,” Seokjin tells Namjoon as they head down the hallway, cracking his knuckles. “I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m going to punch him regardless, but if he tries to go for it at least it’ll mean one less fib for our paperwork, you know?”

“First of all, we both know that our paperwork always turns into my paperwork, and second of all, the last time you punched someone it ended up with a hospital trip with your broken hand.”

“I feel like you’re trying to make a point, and I see it, but I think I’ll have a lot more fun ignoring it,” Seokjin says with a grin, followed by the shrug of his shoulders. “Besides, don’t you think it’ll be a lot easier to prove he did it if we provoke him first?”

It doesn’t sound easier, but Seokjin has already launched his mission to arrest Lukas so he remains quiet and stays thankful for the fact that Seokjin is quiet as they follow along until there’s no one else around except Lukas and them.

“Hey!” Seokjin shouts. When he’s ignored, he tries again. “ Hey !” 

English is what gets Lukas’s attention, though any hint of interest immediately fades when he realizes it’s Seokjin and Namjoon, distastefully staring at them. He doesn’t continue to ignore them though, and he doesn’t run away, so Namjoon considers it a win as they close the distance between them and Lukas. 

“Namjoon, tell him that someone outbid him and that there’s a new bidding price.”

Namjoon glances at Seokjin. “What’s the new bidding price?”

“I don’t know, I’m still making that part up.”

It’s a horrible plan, Namjoon knows it, but Lukas is staring at both of them and it feels like a play where Namjoon hasn’t even read what the script is about, the curtains have already started to rise and the star of the show is still on a bathroom break.

There’s been an update with the auction ,” Namjoon says. Lukas glances around, like he’s hoping someone will be around to translate for him again - but he realizes his options in the hallway are limited to Namjoon only, and he gives up with an obvious sigh.

What about it ?”

Their end goal is to irritate Lukas enough so that they can get him into custody and hopefully pin enough evidence on him, maybe even get him to confess. There’s a voice in the back of Namjoon’s head that it’s in their best interest to not blow their cover in the process of arresting Lukas, and he glances at the exit out to the back porch. It’s a colder day, sprinkling rain, and most of the guests have chosen to stay inside.

Let’s talk about it outside .”

There’s a covered patch farther into the garden which Namjoon is grateful for - he’s pretty sure you can’t even see it from inside where all the other guests are. 

What did you want to talk about ?” Lukas asks.

Namjoon looks hesitantly at Seokjin one last time, who only gives him a small nod of approval before sending his attention back to Lukas.

“Uh, we’ve received a higher bid than yours, and we wanted to know if you wanted to bid higher or drop out ,” Namjoon says, grateful for the reassuring hand from Seokjin pressing against his back.

Unfortunately, as Namjoon expected (and Seokjin probably hoped), Lukas doesn’t take the news very well, an annoyed expression turning into a full-blown scowl.

No fucking way ,” he growls, throwing his hands in the air. Namjoon can feel Seokjin flinch next to him, ready to act. “ Do you two think I’m stupid? All of you fucking foreigners, thinking you can pull all sorts of shit and get away with it .”

Seokjin asks, “What is he saying?”

“He asked if we think he’s stupid-” Namjoon realizes his mistake, “and please feel free to not respond to that-”

Oh, yes, very stupid !” Seokjin shouts excitedly, clapping his hands together. “ So very stupid !” The way Seokjin bounces a little in his spot would almost be cute if it didn’t lead to Lukas pulling out a gun and aiming it towards Seokjin and Namjoon.

Namjoon panics for a brief moment, but relaxes when he sees that Seokjin is also relaxed - and then a moment later, it dawns on him and he laughs.

I’d put that down if I were you .”

Lukas snorts. “ That’s funny of you to say, considering it looks like neither of you are armed .”

Namjoon shakes his head.

Yeah, but he is .”

That’s probably exactly when Lukas feels the barrel of Taehyung’s gun hit the back of his head, as his entire body goes stiff. He can’t turn his head to look, but his eyes strain to see what’s behind him before glaring at Seokjin and Namjoon.

You wouldn’t shoot me, I’m a fucking client, you don’t shoot your clients, that’s not your thing!”

Namjoon shrugs. “ It’s not, but arresting bad guys is .”

The realization hits Lukas in the form of wide eyes and a dropped jaw, just in time for Jimin to quietly sneak up to join Taehyung with a look that asks: are you okay ?

“We’re just wrapping things up,” Taehyung tells Jimin. “Do you have any cuffs on you? I haven’t replaced mine since we broke them last week.”

“Oh, I have mine!” Seokjin says, digging into his back pocket. He happily skips over to behind Lukas, where Tahyung gives him enough space to cuff Lukas’ hands behind him with Jimin’s help.

Once Lukas is cuffed, Taehyung looks at Seokjin in disbelief. “Hyung, how come you don’t have your weapon on you but you have your cuffs?”

“Because cuffs are sexy,” Seokjin says, wiggling his eyebrows at Taehyung. “And also, these pants are too tight to fit much else. I don’t even have my wallet on me.”

(Namjoon looks at Seokjin’s pants and confirms that they are indeed, very tight.)

“You guys got this covered?” Namjoon asks, gesturing to Lukas - who’s surprisingly quiet, maybe from shock, or maybe from Taeyung’s weapon still aimed at him (though now hidden behind his back in a more discreet fashion).

“When do we not?” Taehyung says, using his free hand to give Namjoon a thumbs up. “We’ll send backup in to come pick up his wife later in case she causes a commotion. If any of the other bidders get suspicious of why he’s missing, just say that you murdered him or something nice and arms dealer-y.”

“Sounds good to me,” Seokjin says. “Let us know when you get a confession out of him, alright?”

“Of course,” Jimin says, and he looks warily at Namjoon. “Hopefully we’ll get some answers out of him sooner than later and you guys will be able to stop your undercover mission.” 

“Yeah, that’ll be nice,” Namjoon says, ignoring Jimin’s pointed look. “Shit, would be nice to spend more than one night in my own bed.” His own bed, by himself, living in a world where being in love with Kim Seokjin only existed in his dreams.

“So nice!” Seokjin says with a friendly slap to Namjoon’s back that stings almost as much as Seokjin saying, “Won’t it be nice to finally end this act, huh?”

Jimin and Taehyung both give Namjoon a pitiful glance, though he barely notices, more focused on Seokjin walking away. They’ll go back to the hotel, and eventually, they’ll go back home and they’ll go back to being just coworkers.

Seokjin walks farther and farther away, and while Namjoon’s brain has been trying to prepare him for this moment all along, Namjoon’s heart breaks with the realization that the case is ending and so is the time that Namjoon can walk by Seokjin’s side with their hands intertwined.

Won’t it be nice to finally end this act, huh?

The lightly sprinkling rain begins to pour.

Chapter Text

Namjoon knows how to tie a tie - it’s nothing new, and at this point, he’s sure it’s something he could do in his sleep. His fingers automatically move, slipping the fabric down to tie a knot and secure it. Or at least, they should, and he fumbles miserably until Seokjin comes over with the click of his tongue and a small smile as he fixes Namjoon’s tie.

“You know, you could’ve gone for something more casual,” Seokjin murmurs, focused on Namjoon’s tie until it’s secured in place. He looks at his work before nodding in approval.

“Ties are casual,” Namjoon says, finally getting the courage to glance down at Seokjin’s shirt since the first time Seokjin put it on this evening - there’s still too many buttons undone, and Namjoon isn’t sure what to do with himself. “Maybe you should try one for yourself?”

Seokjin tugs at the end of Namjoon’s tie. He runs his thumb over the fabric a couple of times, quiet, until finally he looks up at Namjoon.

He licks his lips. “Well, maybe if we’re not too tired when we get back, you can practice tying one on me.”

Namjoon only has brief thoughts about how the fabric looks against Seokjin’s wrists before Seokjin backs away, heading towards the exit.

“Come on, we’ve got an auction to complete.”

Even with Lukas in custody as a prime suspect for the case along with other charges, Yoongi had told Seokjin and Namjoon to finish the auction bid, because at the end of the day, not only would it be pretty bad if they sold the weapons to someone, it would also be pretty bad if they let someone who actually wanted to get their hands on the weapons go without any charges. It’s not their biggest worry, but with all the cards played as they are, Namjoon and Seokjin both agreed with Yoongi that it would be a waste of resources not to finalize their evidence by finishing the auction.

Seokjin and Namjoon have barely entered the ballroom when they’re approached by two familiar faces - Jiyeon and her bodyguard Jiwoo.

“Don’t you two look dashing,” Jiyeon greets them, grinning after giving them a quick look up and down. She fumbles with her earring when as she glances back at Jiwoo, who nods subtly back at her - Namjoon feels like he’s missing something, but he doesn’t have time to dwell on it when Jiyeon says, “So I’ve heard the first round of bidding is complete. I don’t suppose you’d be interested in sharing the current highest bid with me?”

“Only if you promise to have a drink or two before you decide to decline to raise your bid,” Seokjin quickly replies, arm looped around Namjoon’s. His fingers pull at Namjoon’s sleeve, just subtle enough that Namjoon wonders if it’s a purposeful movement or not. If it is, the only response Namjoon has is to pull Seokjin just that much closer to him, tightening the grip he has around Seokjin’s waist. He laughs along with Jiyeon - although, much more quietly - and kisses Seokjin’s temple. It must take Seokjin by surprise, because he stumbles over his words as he updates Jiyeon on the latest bids.

Jiyeon fumbles with her earring again. “I think you’re right, I will be needing that drink.” Her laughter is forced, and she ducks her head quickly in Seokjin and Namjoon’s direction. “Perhaps I will catch you two later in the evening?”

 

+++

 

“Do you think we’re supposed to approach the bidders for round two, or should we just wait for them to come to us?” Namjoon asks, glancing around the ballroom. He hasn’t spotted all of the bidders yet, but he’s sure they’re somewhere amongst the crowd.

He expects Seokjin to come up with some response that involves recklessly approaching the bidders, and he’s waiting for Seokjin to make him move towards one of them until he feels Seokjin grab both of his hands and begin to pull him towards the crowd of people closely embraced.

“I think we’re supposed to dance, actually,” Seokjin says, words bold and confident yet he refuses to make eye contact with Namjoon.

Namjoon hadn’t even noticed the music playing in the background until now. And even though he’s known about the dance from the first day, he’s dressed for the event, and everyone around him is dancing, Seokjin looks up at Namjoon finally with bright pink cheeks and Namjoon forgets what dancing is.

He swallows, and Namjoon lets go of Seokjin’s hands so he can wrap his arms around Seokjin’s waist, pulling him close. Like a pair of puzzle pieces, Seokjin’s arms loop around Namjoon’s neck and just like that, they fit together.

“Just to warn you hyung,” Namjoon says, “but I’m really good at dancing. Like, really good.”

Seokjin laughs. “Is that why you’ve already stepped on my foot?”

Namjoon tries not to laugh. “That’s part of the dance, hyung, didn’t you know?” He does try his best to avoid stepping on Seokjin’s foot for a second time, but it’s hard to concentrate when Seokjin’s laughter is warm against his ear, Seokjin tucked against him so tightly that he wonders if he can feel Namjoon’s heartbeat.

Namjoon selfishly lets himself focus on how tiny Seokjin’s waist feels between his hands, pressing their foreheads together while they sway to the music. It’s not nearly as high-etiquette as the couples dancing around them, but at the moment, Namjoon can’t find it in himself to care. He likes how Seokjin feels in his arms. Wants to keep him there forever.

His heart skips a beat in his chest when Seokjin leans in, lips brushing against Namjoon’s ear as he whispers, “Do you think our two gun dealers were really in love?” Seokjin’s fingers press against the back of Namjoon’s neck, holding on to him as if he’s holding him up. “Two infamous gun dealers, Phobos and Deimos, rumored to be in love with wedding bands on their fingers. Do you think they were in love?”

Namjoon isn’t as familiar with the Phobos and Deimos case as Seokjin, even after looking at their file as much as he could before they departed for the undercover mission. He does think it’s strange, how two men in such a dangerous job could fall in love, and for a moment he tries to imagine their love story. He wonders if they said anything at first, wonders at what point it was too much for them to try to deny it anymore and simply risk it all.

Namjoon stares at Seokjin. Seokjin stares back.

“I mean, what makes you think they wouldn’t be in love?” Namjoon finally offers, words sounding lost on his tongue. The way Seokjin stares back at him makes him think he didn’t answer the question the way Seokjin wanted him to, and he adds on in an attempt to fix it. “They met the right person, and they fell in love. It’s hard to worry about the details when you meet the right person, is it not?” He’s not thinking about being in love with Seokjin, not at all, he’s just thinking about Seokjin in general. Nothing to do with being in love with him.

Seokjin bites his lip. “It just sounds a bit silly, doesn’t it?” He stares at Namjoon intently, thinking, and then finally admitting with a sigh, “though I guess love doesn’t care if it’s silly or not.”

It hits Namjoon like a truck, the way Seokjin’s eyes soften at the conclusion of his own words, the way his eyes are directed at Namjoon but he’s plainly stuck in the thoughts in his head.

Namjoon swallows.

“Hyung, are you in love right now?”

That pulls Seokjin out of his thoughts. He snaps his head up, eyes widening the slightest. His cheeks turn pink in front of Namjoon’s eyes, and his grip on Namjoon becomes even more intense.

“And if I said I was?”

Namjoon feels his chest tighten.

“So you are,” Namjoon says, mind already racing. Is it someone Namjoon knows? Do they work with Seokjin and Namjoon? Is it someone that Namjoon’s never met? Namjoon isn’t sure if he knows anyone good enough to steal Seokjin’s heart.

“A little bit,” Seokjin says, and for the first time that night, his eyes don’t meet Namjoon’s. “A lot bit, maybe,” he adds, followed by a nervous laugh. “Like you said, it’s hard to worry about the details when you meet the right person.”

“Are they in love with you too?” Namjoon should drop the subject. He really should. Every extra word into it feels like an additional knife to his heart. But at the same time, he feels like he’s juggling glass, and the only way to stop it from crashing to the ground and breaking is to keep on going.

Seokjin stills. “I don’t think they are.” He pauses again, pulling away from Namjoon. It’s not by much, but it still makes Namjoon’s heart unwillingly ache.

“Hyung, what makes you say that?” Namjoon can’t imagine someone not being in love with Seokjin. “Are you sure? Who is it?”

Seokjin ignores Namjoon’s question and asks, “Are you in love with anyone right now, Namjoon-ah?”

No, not at all, and definitely not with you .

“Yeah,” Namjoon says, the words unable to stay in his mouth when he’s staring at Seokjin. “Yeah, I am.”

They stare at each other in silence, and for a moment, Namjoon wonders if he actually did speak. He fantasizes a scenario where he keeps his mouth shut, and Seokjin’s silence is simply him awaiting Namjoon’s answer.

Namjoon’s fantasy is ruined when Seokjin finally looks away and mumbles, “Oh, that must be nice. I’m sure they’re a wonderful person.”

“They are,” Namjoon says. He hasn’t drinken yet tonight, but he feels like he might have as well, for how loose his lips are. “The most wonderful person.” 

Namjoon has had over three years to think about Seokjin more than enough - three years to get over it, three years to fall deeper and deeper in love, three years to imagine how he’d tell Seokjin his feelings if he ever had the chance. 

He always pictured it at a beach. He’s never actually been at a beach with Seokjin, but he’s always enjoyed the sound of the waves crashing against the shore, and he loves how Seokjin’s face becomes even softer when kissed by the sun. His cheeks would be pink, and turn even pinker when Namjoon finally got the courage to raise his voice and tell Seokjin that he was in love. In Namjoon’s mind, the words I love you were always words he’d shout to the sea, not an echo as his voice traveled across the water, far, far away - to one day come crashing back with the waves.

Maybe he’s been shouting for years now, and finally the smallest ripple has made its way to the land where Seokjin and Namjoon stand.

“You’re wonderful, hyung,” Namjoon says quietly, just so Seokjin can’t hear him over the sound of the music. They’re not at a beach, and the sound of crashing waves has been replaced with an older melody that Namjoon can’t quite put his finger on. Seokjin’s cheeks are pink, but the remainder of the sun peaking through the windows has long since set, and they’ve only been kissed by Namjoon himself.

It’s not what Namjoon ever imagined - but his lips begin to part.

“Hyung…”

“I must say, I really believed the whole marriage thing to be nothing more than rumors.”

Whatever words were about to spill from Namjoon’s mouth are lost (and he promises himself to do his best to forget them, to never make the mistake to think about saying them again) as he turns to the new voice joining the conversation.

“Mr. Oh, I would’ve thought someone of your standing would know the only thing more dangerous than believing rumors is ignoring them,” Seokjin says, twisting out of Namjoon’s hold but not completely pulling away, which is the only thing that keeps Namjoon sane in the moment. Because if Seokjin pulled away completely, Namjoon would begin to worry that he had actually finished speaking his thoughts aloud - which would’ve been bad. Very bad.

This is the first time Namjoon has talked to Mr. Oh directly, but he recognizes him from the original runthrough of the guest list, and he had done a little bit of research after the older gentleman had been identified as a bidder. It hadn’t been anything too complicated; old, rich and rumored to be involved in dirty business after his yearly income started not reflecting the success and profit of his company. 

The gentleman in front of them looks older than he did in the pictures Namjoon had found, but he’s recognizable nonetheless. His wife is nowhere to be found, but the familiar face of his assistant Youngho stands right behind him. For a moment, Youngho briefly makes eye-contact with Namjoon, and for a split second, he looks confused; but the moment ends before Namjoon can be sure.

Mr. Oh snorts. “Well, for two men who seem to run so deeply in secrecy, I found it hard to believe what the wind had picked up.” He tilts his head. “But I see even something as elusive as the wind speaks the truth sometimes.”

“The wind isn’t the only thing that speaks,” Seokjin says. It’s shocking everytime, how calm he can sound while Namjoon can feel the pressure of Seokjin’s fingers digging into his back nervously. “Your assistant here said you wanted to place a bid. Is it fair to assume the bid is valid like the assistant suggests?”

“Indeed. Though the price has risen much more than I predicted.” He narrows his eyes. “I hope that the goods that you deliver will be worth it. I would hate to be disappointed.”

Seokjin stills. “Is that a threat?”

Mr. Oh shrugs. “If you were daring to consider the mistake of trying to rob me of my money? I suppose you could consider it one.”

Seokjin quickly recovers, face hardening. “I don’t like the presumption that our business is anything but fair, but I’m having a wonderful time with my husband and would hate to ruin it, so I’ll let your comment slide.”

Seokjin nods his head in Mr. Oh’s direction. “I’ll let you know if someone else outbids you. For now, I wish you a good evening, and I’m sure we’ll be seeing you around.”

Namjoon finds it hard to walk away from someone with only the curt nod Seokjin provides, and he quickly bows as well as he can with Seokjin’s arms still wrapped around him, before letting Seokjin escort him away, stumbling feet not matching Seokjin’s cool expression as they continue to dance.

“With customers like that, I think it’s a miracle Deimos and Phobos made it this far without being murdered, don’t you think?” Seokjin only asks when they’ve made their way across the dance floor, an appropriate distance from Mr. Oh. “How do you think they made it so long?”

“Uh.” Namjoon looks away from the buttons of Seokjin’s shirt. “The power of true love?”

Seokjin laughs, squeaky and high-pitched just as Namjoon loves it.

“Yeah, maybe that was it,” Seokjin says. “You know, it’s a bit of a shame that they were murdered. I think I would’ve liked to meet them. Might’ve been good friends if they hadn’t taken the be gay do crimes thing a little too far.”

Namjoon shakes his head. “Is there a tolerable amount of being gay and doing crimes for you?”

Seokjin nods. “Of course. Like the time I tried downloading a game for free on your work computer because I didn’t want to pay for it. The perfect amount of crime.” He scrunches his nose. “Poor execution though.”

“Wait, was that the time when I came into work and tech support told me I had a virus on my computer?”

Seokjin laughs. “Love you, Namjoon-ah.”

It’s sudden, and out of nowhere, and most likely an attack to make Namjoon promptly forget about the computer virus that started the rumor that he was watching porn at work. But whether Seokjin is saying it to mess around or not, it still has Namjoon giving up with a sigh, gently booping Seokjin’s nose.

“Love you too, hyung.”

 

+++

 

“So I have this plan,” Seokjin says as they head back to the hotel room. His fingers are gently wrapped around Namjoon’s sleeve. There’s a couple of other people walking down the hallway, but they don’t seem to pay much mind to Seokjin and Namjoon. “Can I tell you about it?”

“Hyung, you’re going to tell me about it rather I want you to or not,” Namjoon says, annoyed with every instance Seokjin’s hand accidentally brushes against his - it’s temptation after temptation to simply take Seokjin’s hand in his. Maybe he’s a little bit like Cinderella, and as midnight strikes their case, the dance comes to an end and instead of the carriage of holding Seokjin freely in his arms, Namjoon is left with a pumpkin.

Namjoon has been happy carrying a pumpkin for the last three years of knowing Seokjin. But three years is a long time, and after riding in his carriage on his way to the ball, Namjoon can only notice how rotten the pumpkin has become.

“But I want you to want to listen to what I have to say,” Seokjin insists with a pout, tugging at Namjoon’s tie. “It’s a really good plan. I definitely think you’ll approve of it.”

“I find that really hard to believe when you’re already laughing about it.”

The corners of Seokjin’s lips lift even further. “Are you going to ask me what my plan is?”

Namjoon sighs. “Alright, tell me about your plan.”

Seokjin claps his hands together, delighted.

“So I was thinking, even if we go through with the auction, we’ll only be able to sell to one person, right? And then once we get enough incriminating evidence against them, we bust them, and blow our cover, right?”

“I mean, yes-”

“So I was thinking. We just tell everyone that they won the auction. We’ll give the winner appointments, like ten minutes apart from each other. Sell the weapons, have proof of them purchasing illegal goods, book ‘em, and then rinse and repeat!”

“And if they figure it out?”

Seokjin puts his hands out in front of him as little fists, feigning a few swings. “I’ll just fight them all then, obviously.” He tilts his head to the side. “You’ll fight by my side, right, Namjoon-ah?”

Namjoon wants to say something about the one time Seokjin did get them involved in a fistfight against a group of people and remind him about how well that went until backup showed up. But then Seokjin extends one of his fists to happily bump it against Namjoon’s chest. His touch lingers, and it’s too much for Namjoon.

He takes Seokjin’s hand, and brings it to his lips. He glances only momentarily at Seokjin - who’s staring at him with wide eyes - before kissing Seokjin’s hand, lips brushing against Seokjin’s knuckles.

“Hyung,” he says softly. “That sounds like a horrible idea.”

The momentary shock from Seokjin disappears in an instant - wide eyes turned into laughter as Seokjin whacks Namjoon’s shoulder before falling forward into Namjoon who is more than happy to catch Seokjin. Seokjin has a hand pressed to Namjoon’s chest, and Namjoon happily secures an arm around Seokjin’s shoulder, letting his fingers explore the expanse of Seokjin’s shoulders.

Seokjin looks up at Namjoon with a grin.

“But wouldn’t it be great to finish the case with a bang?”

Namjoon doesn’t have it in him to disagree with Seokjin’s smile, and he only grumbles half of the way back to their hotel room.

They arrive back at the hotel room, and at this point another one of the buttons on Seokjin’s shirt has become undone. Not that Namjoon notices. He does stare, but he’s not actually looking. Definitely not looking, but somehow when he looks back up at Seokjin he’s met with raised eyebrows.

Namjoon coughs into his hand. “Well, not too bad of a night. You know, minus the poorly hidden death threats.”

“Poorly hidden death threats and a night full of dancing, what more can a guy ask for?” Seokjin kicks his shoes off and looks at Namjoon with a grin. “You’re not too bad of a dance partner, Namjoon-ah. Even if you did keep stepping on my toes,” Seokjin teases.

Namjoon huffs. “You don’t have to keep bringing it up,” he grumbles.

“Well, if it bothers you so much, there’s a pretty good way to shut me up, actually.” Seokjin’s grin twists into a smirk, and Namjoon is more than happy to kiss it away, shoving Seokjin down onto the bed until he hits the mattress with a gasp, and Namjoon’s on top of him again.

Seokjin’s laughter only fuels Namjoon, unable to stop even if Seokjin wasn’t grabbing at him to pull him even closer. He kisses Seokjin even harder, maybe to stop his laughter, and maybe because he wants to. He wonders if he’ll ever be able to kiss someone else, and then he stops wondering, because he already knows that even in the ending he’s carved out for his lonely, longing heart, the only answer has always been just Seokjin.

He slips his hands underneath Seokjin’s shirt, slowing his pace and trailing his hands from Seokjin’s waist up to his chest, carefully brushing against the delicate skin as his hands travel upward and groaning quietly at the Seokjin shivers against his touch, laughter turned into a gentle sigh.

“Your shirt buttons are undone”

“Oh, you noticed?” Seokjin sounds pleased.

Namjoon undoes the rest of the buttons. “Don’t tell me you did it just to mess with me, hyung.” He knows Seokjin doesn’t really know how crazy he drives Namjoon - or at least, not the real reasoning behind it. But he likes the idea, Seokjin dressing up just for him, just to see how riled up he can get Namjoon before he snaps and has to eat Seokjin whole.

Seokjin licks his lips. “You didn’t like how it looked?”

Namjoon narrows his eyes. “Do you really want me to tell you how I feel about your fucking shirt?”

Seokjin smiles. “I’d rather you show me.”

Namjoon is happy to, peeling off Seokjin’s shirt as he leans down and kisses him hard, groaning into Seokjin’s mouth as Seokjin wraps his arms around Namjoon and holds onto him, wrapping his legs around Namjoon’s waist.

“More,” he mumbles against Namjoon’s lips, using his legs to pull Namjoon’s hips against his. He only pulls away to slide his hands underneath Namjoon’s shirt, hands splayed against his chest. “Unless you can’t do any better than that?”

Namjoon bites Seokjin’s ear. “Did you have something particular in mind?” Namjoon has a flurry of his own ideas in his head, one of them including the tie they messed with earlier in the night. Another idea includes telling Seokjin how much he loves him before promptly removing himself from the room and maybe never showing his face again.

Seokjin hums, pretending to think. “Well, we’ve basically wrapped this case up.” His breath hitches in his throat when Namjoon starts leaving a trail of kisses down the slope of Seokjin’s neck. “So I don’t think there’ll be any problem if you make it so I can’t walk for the next couple of days, mm?”

Namjoon heart races. He swallows, hard. “What do you mean by that, hyung?”

Seokjin clicks his tongue. “Hey, how come you're never this shy about telling me how annoying I am?”

Namjoon groans. “That’s because you’re really annoying sometimes-”

He’s cut off by Seokjin sitting up to kiss him, hands tugging at Namjoon’s hair.

“I mean that you should grab the lube and condoms from the nightstand and then help me get my pants off.” The confident facade only crumbles for a brief moment when he adds quietly, “if you want to, of course.”

Namjoon answers by reaching for the bedside table: one, to turn on the silencer, and two, to grab exactly what Seokjin told him to, trying to make sure he doesn’t accidentally pinch himself in the process and wake himself up from what must be a dream. The type of dream that only happened on days where Namjoon was overworked and had spent too much time with Seokjin hanging off of him. The type of dream that left him wallowing in shame for up to days after, unable to look Seokjin in the eye.

And now he can’t look away from Seokjin, who’s eyes never leave Namjoon as he places the condoms and lube on top of the bedside table, bringing his hands back to Seokjin to work on pulling Seokjin’s pants down, snagging his underwear as well after a moment of thought.

“You’re so handsome, hyung.” The words leave Namjoon’s mouth before he can even stop them, and if he could, he wouldn’t. He enjoys the way Seokjin whines, twisting his legs in an attempt to cover up. It doesn’t cover up anything, Seokjin’s entire body on display for Namjoon to appreciate. Seokjin’s pants end up somewhere on the floor, and Namjoon brings his hands back down to Seokjin’s now bare legs.

“Okay?”

Seokjin has covered his face with his hands, but Namjoon spots Seokjin peaking between his fingers. “It would be more okay if I wasn’t the only one naked.”

This brings two realizations to Namjoon. One - Seokjin is right, and Namjoon is still dressed in his clothes from the evening. Two - Seokjin’s the only one naked, which means Seokjin is naked. 

Oh .

“Impatient, hyung,” Namjoon teases, though it’s really only to cover up how hot his body feels all over as his eyes continue to rake over Seokjin’s body. His gaze starts at Seokjin’s pale, unmarked (for now) thighs, traveling up to his waist and his dick. He’s hard, dick pink and begging to be touched. But Namjoon doesn’t touch, not yet, letting his eyes travel up towards Seokjin’s tiny waist, his defined abs, chest with a few ghosts of love bites left behind, Seokjin’s broad shoulders, the length of his neck and finally up to Seokjin’s face, who’s pout grows the longer Namjoon continues to stare.

(Namjoon doesn’t dare say it, but Seokjin’s expressions are what captivate him the most.)

“Hyung would like you to take your clothes off,” Seokjin grumbles, reaching for Namjoon’s shirt. Namjoon doesn’t stop him from grabbing the hem of his shirt and pulling it off, ignoring the sound of buttons being ripped off in the process.

They fumble around in the bed until Seokjin’s wish is fulfilled, and Namjoon’s glad Seokjin is quick to distract Namjoon by kissing him, because otherwise Namjoon would have to think about the fact that one naked person plus another naked person is a lot of naked people. Especially when one of those naked people is Seokjin, the other one is Namjoon, and they’re pressed tightly against each other in a way that has Namjoon light-headed.

Seokjin groans underneath Namjoon, panting when Namjoon pulls away from kissing Seokjin just long enough to look at him, to enjoy the pink of his cheeks and the swell of his lips, turned red from Namjoon. His eyes remain closed, and his breath stutters in his throat before he lets out another groan, and Namjoon feels Seokjin’s back arch, pressing his chest against Namjoon’s.

“Hyung?”

Namjoon-ah .” Seokjin’s breath hitches again, body tensing. His nails dig into Namjoon’s back, sure to leave marks, and while Namjoon doesn’t mind, he does notice that Seokjin’s only holding onto him with one hand, which just is not enough Seokjin touching him. Namjoon is far too greedy right now, and god does he want to imagine a world where Seokjin is dying to touch him just as much as he’s dying to touch Seokjin.

However, the thought dies when he briefly looks for where Seokjin’s other hand is - thinks about maybe how to get it back on his body - and his body feels like a million degrees when he realizes Seokjin’s hand that has drifted downward is covered in lube, a single finger pressed into Seokjin’s hole.

“Hyung?” Namjoon tries to ignore the raise in pitch in his own voice, finding absolutely no will in his body to look away from Seokjin’s finger. And unlike Namjoon who’s frozen in place, Seokjin slowly retracts his finger, all the way to the tip before plunging it back in, moaning in unison with the movement.

“Ah, shit, I thought it’d be easier after the shower last night, but I guess not,” Seokjin mumbles, too lost in the feeling to realize how much Namjoon is staring. “Shit, Namjoon, give hyung a moment.”

Namjoon doesn’t know how to breathe. “After the shower last night?” He asks - as if there isn’t already a vivid image painted in his mind: Seokjin hunched over in the shower, naked, forehead resting against the shower wall, trying to keep quiet with Namjoon only a single wall away from him.

“Oh, you actually didn’t hear? I just thought you didn’t say anything to be nice,” Seokjin admits. "Was wondering if you were gonna say anything."

Namjoon doesn't think he would've had the words even if he had realized. He certainly doesn't have the words now, watching Seokjin finger himself open in front of Namjoon, and just as he starts to work a second finger in, he uses his free hand to grab Namjoon's neck and bring him down to kiss him, groaning into the kiss. Namjoon is more than happy to kiss Seokjin, using his hands as a way to say everything he can't say, running up and down Seokjin's body just to feel him underneath him.

"What were you thinking about?" Namjoon asks when Seokjin gasps against his mouth.

Seokjin blinks at Namjoon. "What?"

Namjoon can't get the image out of his head. "When you were in the shower. What were you thinking about?"

Seokjin whines, turning his face away momentarily, like he's hiding anything at all. "Do you really need to know that?"

"No, but I want to." That's a lie. Namjoon needs to know, his entire mind on fire. Even now, he wants to know what Seokjin is thinking about, looking and sounding like everything Namjoon would ever need - but he can't ask, because he knows the answer is a lot more likely to hurt him than not.

He mouths at Seokjin's neck, shamelessly leaving marks behind. He wonders how he's going to deal with seeing them when the case is over, and they're back in the office. He wonders if Seokjin will try to cover them up, or if he'll let all their friends and coworkers see what he let Namjoon do to him. Both options leave Namjoon's mind in a frenzy, but it doesn't stop him from continuing a line of lovebites down the slope of Seokjin's neck. 

"Please tell me, hyung," Namjoon whispers, feeling the shiver that travels down Seokjin's body as his fingers brush Seokjin's nipples. "Tell me what you were thinking about, please." Tell me what you're thinking about now .

"You never have this many questions." Seokjin's grumbling turns into a loud moan when Namjoon strokes his dick, and Seokjin's hand quickly reaches out to grab Namjoon by the wrist, stopping whatever mischief Namjoon had in mind. "Fine, fine, I was thinking about you. Obviously."

It's the answer Namjoon was hoping to hear, even expecting to hear, but it still knocks the wind out of him. "You were thinking about me. While fingering yourself in the shower." It's embarrassing how close Namjoon feels, just from the thought of Seokjin. 

"Namjoon-ah, please-"

Namjoon kisses Seokjin to silence whatever complaints he has, and he shakes his hands free of Seokjin's grip so he can move them down to Seokjin's thighs, slowly crawling inward.

"Were you thinking about my fingers stretching you open, hyung?

Seokjin sighs. "Yes."

It's all Namjoon needs to hear, grabbing the lube bottle from the bedside table and coating his fingers. He's not really sure where the bottle ends up afterwards - maybe somewhere on the floor, for some poor janitorial staff to clean up - but he lines his fingers up next to Seokjin's entrance, but he waits before pushing in.

"You don't have to think about it anymore," Namjoon says. "Let me help you, hyung." He freezes when he feels Seokjin still against him, and he quickly adds, “If you want me to.”

“I do, I really do,” Seokjin says, and then without making any eye contact with Namjoon, mumbles, “but if you do it I think I’ll cum too early.”

Shit. That’s not what Namjoon expected Seokjin to say, and it’s definitely not something he was prepared for Seokjin to say. At this rate, Namjoon feels like Seokjin shouldn’t be the one worrying about cumming too early, but he avoids admitting that by leaning down and kissing Seokjin before mumbling against his lips, “Do you think you could go two rounds?”

Oh ,” Seokjin gasps against Namjoon’s lips, but he’s already fervently nodding his head. “Okay, okay, yeah, that works too.” He shudders as he slowly drags his fingers out, lube still coating his fingers when he brings his hand up to hold onto Namjoon’s back.

Namjoon starts with one finger, even though he already saw Seokjin easily work two fingers - he’s doing it more for his sake than Seokjin’s. It shouldn’t be anything too crazy for Seokjin at this point, but he still pulls a moan out of Seokjin when he crooks his finger inside of him. It gives him the confidence to slide in another finger, making sure to add more lube as he does so.

It’s messy, but so is the inside of Namjoon’s mind. Seokjin wasn’t lying about being close - the more Namjoon works him open, the deeper Seokjin’s nails dig into Namjoon’s back. Namjoon continues to kiss Seokjin, swallowing the pretty sounds that leave Seokjin’s mouth as they escape, encouraging them even further by taking Seokjin’s dick in his hand and stroking in unison as he pushes his fingers in.

“Fuck, Namjoon-” Seokjin pants, hips bucking upward into Namjoon’s hand, a perfect rhythm that no one could dance better to than Seokjin, entire body rolling as he chases after a touch - Namjoon’s touch. He gasps, an incomprehensible sound leaving his throat before a tremor travels through his body as he cries out Namjoon’s name as he comes and dirties Namjoon’s hand.

Namjoon glances at the cum on his hand - debates licking it off - before wiping his hand on the bedsheet and ignoring the fact he’ll have to sleep on their mess later. It’s an easy fact to ignore when Seokjin wraps his legs around Namjoon’s waist, pulling their hips together and the sound that escapes Namjoon’s mouth is a lot more embarrassing than he would like. But while Seokjin is getting ready for round two, Namjoon is still painfully hard, and Seokjin pressing against him so sweetly isn’t helping.

Namjoon could jerk himself off and call it a night for both of them - but Seokjin is holding onto him like he’s afraid to let go, and while Seokjin’s wandering hands are more than enough for Namjoon, he doesn’t want to give up the chance to explore Seokjin’s body while he can. The dips of his collarbones, the jut of his shoulders, the curve of his waist. At the moment, it’s all for Namjoon, perfectly so, and Namjoon whispers it against Seokjin’s warm skin as he lets his lips travel the expanse of Seokjin’s body, teasing him until Seokjin slowly becomes hard again.

Namjoon finishes stretching Seokjin, a third finger added as he thrusts in and out of Seokjin. Seokjin whines when Namjoon removes his finger, pulling away from the final love bite on Seokjin’s inner thigh that he says goodbye to with a final, soft kiss.

“Okay?” Namjoon readjusts himself on top of Seokjin, brushing Seokjin’s sweat-matted bangs away from his forehead. Seokjin’s skin is flushed, pupils dilated. His lips are parted, swollen from abuse, asking for Namjoon to kiss Seokjin again - so he does.

“Yes please,” Seokjin affirms, bringing his hands to Namjoon’s face. He presses his thumbs to the corner of Namjoon’s lips, and then brings them out to where Namjoon’s dimples would be. The touch is gentle, and it’s the touch that gets Namjoon the most. He brings his forehead down to rest against Seokjin’s, and for a moment, they just breathe against each other.

Namjoon only pulls back so he can roll the condom on, trying to remember to breathe as Seokjin spreads his legs, letting Namjoon crawl in between until he can line his dick up with Seokjin’s entrance, and just as he leans down to kiss Seokjin, he pushes in.

Namjoon slides in without problem, and while the feeling of Seokjin’s warmth around him is almost too much to handle, he manages to keep his eyes open so he can properly look at Seokjin’s face as he bottoms out, hips pressed flat against the slight swell of Seokjin’s ass. 

“Okay?” Namjoon asks, but Seokjin doesn’t seem to be listening. “Hyung, are you okay?”

Seokjin sighs. “Yes, fuck, Namjoon-” Another sigh, this time followed by the twist of Seokjin’s hip, getting used to Namjoon pressed inside of him. “Feels good, Namjoon-ah.” He rocks his hips, and Namjoon groans at the movement because god it feels good and he’s not sure how long he’s going to last if he’s already feeling this light-headed.

“Okay, you can move,” Seokjin says after testing another rock of his hips, and he brings his legs up so they’re up against his chest, giving Namjoon all he needs to pull out almost all the way before thrusting his hips forward again, filling Seokjin.

The sound of skin slapping skin fills the room, mixing with their heavy breathing and moans, as Namjoon continues to fuck Seokjin into the bed. The bed creaks underneath them, but Namjoon barely notices, barely notices anything except Seokjin underneath him, gasping, moaning, clutching onto Namjoon like he’s his lifeline. He notices the heat in his groin, spreading throughout his body, feeling like he’s about to fly away.

Seokjin anchors him to the spot, and while his arms wrapped around Namjoon are reminiscent of a cage, Namjoon has never felt so free.

“Love you, love you so much,” Namjoon declares against Seokjin’s skin, because he can. After all, he’s currently living in a moment of no consequences, where he can hold Seokjin and Seokjin lets him, even if their facade is bound to crumble apart soon.

If someone had told Namjoon that he would have the chance to openly love Seokjin at the cost of having to let him go afterwards and pretend like nothing happened, Namjoon would’ve denied anything of it. He couldn’t - can’t - imagine forgetting Seokjin next to him, holding onto him like it’s all he ever needs.

And yet somehow, Namjoon has let himself be fooled into thinking he could forget; or maybe he simply chose to ignore his own advice, because it's Seokjin and Namjoon has been in love with Seokjin for three years, and Namjoon doesn't think it's fair of the universe to ask him to stop now, just because he's accidentally crossed a line he'll eventually be painfully shoved back over. Except the next time, the line will be a glass wall, and Namjoon won't be able to cross it ever again, but he'll be able to look through it - look at Seokjin, just like always - and see what he can never have.

Namjoon chose not to be in love with Seokjin, just like how Seokjin has chosen to not be in love with Namjoon. It's fine, Namjoon's fine, there's nothing wrong with it because the world continues to spin, continues to orbit in space which means that Namjoon and Seokjin not being in love must be fine. Because if it wasn't fine, the universe would let him know, wouldn't it? Surely, the universe would not simply let the Earth continue to spin if Namjoon was supposed to be allowed to love Seokjin.

Namjoon chose not to be in love with Seokjin, but that doesn't stop him from loving Seokjin - not at this very moment when Seokjin himself is the one holding onto him. Namjoon is starting to realize that Seokjin has always had a hold on him - a hold on Namjoon's heart. The hold is stronger than Seokjin's arms wrapped around Namjoon, stronger than the way Namjoon's heart beats in his chest as he continues to whisper I love you against Seokjin's skin, pretending that the way Seokjin's breath hitches in his throat is because of it.

"Hyung," Namjoon murmurs, voice high-pitched as he lets Seokjin squeeze around him. "Feel so good. Love you so much." This time, he says it loud enough for Seokjin to properly hear. There's a moment of panic, where he's afraid Seokjin might think too much of his hidden confession, see it as something more than their little act, their little moment that won't exist after the case. "Want you forever, hyung." 

The last part, he whispers only for himself.

Seokjin's skin is coated in sweat, sliding against Namjoon's skin; both of them are warm, so warm, and Namjoon thinks that's because he's about to explode, and he'll light up the entire room with his feelings. Seokjin is his match, and rather than a field of dynamite going off all at once, Namjoon is a room of candles, and Seokjin's been lighting one candle at a time every time he smiles at Namjoon.

"Love you too," Seokjin mumbles, though his words get cut off as the rhythm of Namjoon's thrusts become sloppier, and Namjoon leaves a wet kiss to Seokjin's neck. "You don't even know it, Namjoon-ah."

It's unfair of Seokjin, to say such cruel words to Namjoon when Namjoon knows they don't hold the same value as his own. It's unfair of Namjoon to expect Seokjin to not say them back when it was Namjoon who originally hid his true intentions behind false words spurred by the heat of the moment, but Namjoon doesn't care what's fair. He cares about Seokjin, cares about him so much, loves him so much, and it's all too much for him.

"Seokjin." Namjoon doesn't miss the way Seokjin clenches around him, and he repeats his name again. "Seokjin." The way he says Seokjin's name is almost a whine, but he can't stop, wanting Seokjin to know exactly what his mind is filled with at the moment.

Namjoon comes with Seokjin's name on his lips, and Seokjin graciously rocks his hips against Namjoon until he finishes his orgasm. He catches sight of Seokjin pumping his own cock, shuddering against Namjoon a few moments later and spilling onto Namjoon’s abdomen.

They lay in silence for a moment, heavily breathing and unwilling to let go of each other. Namjoon lets himself relax, falling on top of Seokjin and praying he’s not too heavy. Seokjin groans a little when Namjoon flops on top of him, but he doesn’t shove Namjoon off either. Instead, he lets his hands run through Namjoon’s hair, humming quietly to himself as he does so.

“We should probably shower,” Namjoon finally manages, though he doesn’t make any attempt to move. His eyes are closed, and the blankets that had been thrown off the bed are doing nothing to keep Namjoon warm anymore as he starts to cool down. Which means Seokjin is his only heat source, which would be a lot more acceptable if they weren’t covered in sweat and other bodily fluids.

Seokjin hums. “Are you going to carry me?”

"Carry you?" Namjoon snorts, but he tests out the state of his muscles nonetheless. He thinks it's more about energy than muscle strength, and the prior isn't something he has at the moment. He does think it'd be nice to pick Seokjin up though, and on the plus side, if it turns out he can pick up Seokjin, he can keep it in mind for the future.

(For when he has to pick Seokjin up and throw him out the window when he's being annoying, of course.)

"Carry me," Seokjin affirms, nodding his head. His hair tickles Namjoon's face. "I would really like to be carried right now."

Namjoon pauses. "Can you not walk right now?"

Seokjin groans. "Unfortunately so. A bit disappointing, actually. I thought I asked you so kindly as well."

It takes a moment for Namjoon to remember. Then he furrows his brow. "You'd be the one complaining on the plane ride home tomorrow." Seokjin always finds something to complain about on the plane ride home - and somehow, Namjoon never stops listening. He thinks Seokjin could read the dictionary aloud and he'd still listen. 

"The plane ride home, huh."

Seokjin's grip on Namjoon's hair becomes tighter, not quite hurting but definitely something that has Namjoon's toes tingling a bit. But then it hits Namjoon - going home. The case is about to be wrapped up, and Seokjin and Namjoon are going to go home and Namjoon will never get to experience Seokjin tugging at his hair again.

Seokjin shifts from underneath him, and Namjoon tries to ignore the wave of loneliness clawing at his heart. But then Seokjin simply adjusts them so Seokjin's on top of Namjoon, and he helps Namjoon out of the previous condom and throws it somewhere on the floor, lost in a sea of everything else thrown away without thought - Namjoon's heart among it all.

"You're lucky, Namjoon-ah," Seokjin says, sitting up, ass pressing against Namjoon's groin and his hands balanced on Namjoon's chest. He shifts against Namjoon, a purposeful movement that has Namjoon clutching at Seokjin's hips.

"Why's that?" He can think of a million reasons why, but Namjoon doesn't think they're the answer Seokjin is looking for.

"Because," Seokjin drawls, grinding his hips down again. This time, Namjoon doesn't stop him, watching Seokjin's hands travel down Seokjin's body; he shivers. "I'm going to give you a second chance, so don't disappoint me this time." He leans down to whisper in Namjoon's ear, "I better not be able to walk after this round, or else we'll have to go again."

Seokjin reaches for another condom, and Namjoon has no protests.

For the night, he'll selfishly let himself have this.

 

+++

 

Namjoon has only woken up to the sound of gunshots once before.

The last time had been a stakeout, where Seokjin and Namjoon had locked themselves up in Seokjin's car while parked outside of a suspect's house. They were both supposed to be awake, at least until Jimin and Taehyung came to replace them, but it was three in the morning and Seokjin had been humming softly along with the radio, and Namjoon had been allowed to fall asleep.

Back then, Namjoon had been startled awake and immediately on edge - he wasn't supposed to be sleeping to begin with, and the sound of gunshots had left him waking up reaching out to Seokjin, to make sure he was okay. Seokjin hadn't been in the car, and Namjoon had a sinking sensation in his chest as he quickly scrambled out of the car to locate his partner.

This is the second time Namjoon has woken up to the sound of gunshots, and in a similar fashion, he jolts awake to find Seokjin. It doesn't take more than a millisecond; Seokjin is wrapped up in his arms, but he can feel the second Seokjin awakens as well and comprehends the sound of the noise that woke them.

"Is that close?" Namjoon scrambles out of bed, stumbling over to the closest suitcase to find a pair of pants and a shirt to quickly throw on. Seokjin is still covering himself with the blanket from the bed, but he has his phone in his hand and his eyes are locked to the screen. Namjoon grabs something for Seokjin to put on, throwing it onto the bed next to Seokjin while he slides in on the other side to read Seokjin's phone along with him.

"I'm gonna call Jimin now," Seokjin says, exiting out of his messages just as Namjoon takes a seat. It's a good thing Seokjin is faster to wake up than Namjoon, because his mind is racing yet nowhere near the finish line of thinking to call Jimin.

"Put it on speaker, I'll handle it if you wanna go ahead and get dressed so we go and investigate."

Seokjin nods, and Namjoon turns on the lamp on the side of the bed while the phone continues to ring, once, twice, and then-

"You guys heard that?" Jimin's out-of-breath voice answers. The thumping of footsteps lets Namjoon know he's running.

"Yeah, just woke up. Where are you headed to?"

"Not sure. Did it sound like it was on your guys' floor?"

Namjoon shakes his head. "I don't think so."

Jimin pauses for a moment, and finally decides, "I'm gonna check the first floor, if you guys wanna go check the second floor."

Namjoon makes eye-contact with Seokjin, and they both nod. Namjoon pockets Seokjin's phone, not bothering to hang up on Jimin, and they both slip on their shoes and head out to the hallway without another word.

"Do you think that woke up anyone else?" Seokjin asks, glancing nervously at the hotel room doors around them. Namjoon can't hear anything else, and it doesn't look like anyone else is awake on the floor. He hopes for the best, which is everyone being a much heavier sleeper than Seokjin and Namjoon.

"If we see anyone, we can just act like we're curious like they are," Namjoon says, glancing down at both of their clothes. They're not armed, which is a problem, but it also means it’s a lot easier to blend in with civilians.

Namjoon swallows hard when the faint light of the hallway lights up Seokjin's skin just to highlight the hickeys Namjoon had left only a few hours ago.

"How are we supposed to know which room it came from if there's only the one shot?" Seokjin asks in frustration, practically running in the hallway. They skip the elevator, but Namjoon makes sure to take a quick glance at the scene to make sure it doesn't look like someone decided to empty their magazine in the elevator. "Shit, now I kind of hope someone else heard it. At least give us a clue which room it came from."

They hurry down to the second floor, and Namjoon is ready to begin knocking on doors - if someone answers, that means there's no dead body in the room, right? Though he supposes it's a bit of a bold assumption that the gunshot means that someone is dead. But it could also mean that someone is almost dead, bleeding out - and Namjoon's feet start to move as fast as Seokjin.

Nothing alerts them of anything odd until they get to the end of the hallway, and they realize that someone is standing outside of the door, jiggling the handle. Namjoon is hesitant to confront the person, but maybe that's why it's good he's partnered with Seokjin, who happily snatches his phone back from Namjoon and turns on the flashlight to shine it at their perpetrator.

"What the fuck are you doing?" Seokjin asks, and the perpetrator turns around. Even in the light, it takes Namjoon a moment to recognize Youngho, Mr. Oh's assistant, standing outside the door in his pajamas. 

Namjoon narrows his eyes. It doesn't look like Youngho was running away from the room, and he has the cutest pair of white bunny slippers on, and there's no blood stains present anywhere on his clothes. Of course, between the time Namjoon heard the gunshot go off and them arriving, there could've been time for Youngho to change clothes and arrive at the door looking as panicked as he does.

"You must've heard it, right? The gunshot," Youngho says, wide eyes. The imprint of a pillow is still on his cheek. "I'm in the room next door, and I heard it clear as day. I called Mr. Oh to see if he was okay, and he won't pick up the phone." To prove his point, Youngho dials a number on his phone, and as the ringing on his end begins, Namjoon can faintly hear a cell phone going off inside the room.

"Do you think something happened?"

"Well, the boss always picks up his phone, and he hasn't been sleeping the best recently so I don't think he'd simply sleep through his phone going off-"

"Unless he shot someone in his room and ran off," Seokjin says, glaring at Youngho. "Or maybe you're even trying to cover for him right now. You don't have the key to your boss's room?"

Namjoon looks at Seokjin with wide eyes. "Hyung!"

Seokjin shakes his head. "You didn't see the message from Yoongi before we called Jimin." He bites his lips. "He left a message saying that the tech team finally was able to get into the hitman's phone and track who called him, and most likely hired him." He gestures at the door of Mr. Oh's room. "The number leads back to yours truly."

"Wait, it wasn't Lukas? What was the English in the background then?" Namjoon turns to Youngho. "Does your boss speak English?"

Seokjin narrows his eyes at Youngho. "Do you speak English?"

"I don't know what you're talking about," Youngho says, though his lips are pressed in a tightline and his skin has suddenly paled. "I just want to open the door to check on my boss. I don't have a key because Mr. Oh prefers privacy."

"Or he prefers murdering people in his hotel room," Seokjin says, slamming his hand against the hotel door. "I bet you the window is cracked open and he's made his escape." Seokjin brings his phone closer to him. "Jimin, are you still on the line? We're on the second floor, and I think you should get a team to scour the area outside."

Jimin appears with Taehyung behind him less than a minute later, sprinting to the door.

"Please tell me you have a key," Seokjin says, stepping out of the way to let Jimin come through and sure enough, pull out a key that probably belongs to the staff. 

"So I think I caught most of that over the phone, but you think it's this room?" When Jimin realizes Youngho is there, he wrinkles his nose in distaste. "You. Go back to your own room."

Namjoon frowns. "I think we'd be better taking him into custody. Probably involved in the hiring of our hitman, and definitely knows that we've blown our covers."

Jimin claps his hands in excitement. "Oh, even better! Tae, make sure this fucker doesn't go anywhere, and call backup to come take him away." He glares at Youngho again. "Don't get any fucking funny ideas about running away."

Jimin slips the keycard in, and the light on the door turns green a moment later. Jimin puts on a pair of gloves before tugging on the handle, opening the door and storming in. Seokjin and Namjoon follow behind, Taehyung nodding them in while he keeps an eye on Youngho.

"See, I told you, the window is open!" Seokjin hisses, pointing at the window. "I bet he's on the ground running away to some foreign country as we speak."

Jimin stills. "Well, he's definitely on the ground. But I don't think he's running away anywhere anytime soon."

"What-"

Seokjin's words trail off when they push farther into the room, and Namjoon spots what Jimin is talking about on the floor a second later.

"Not unless you consider Hell a foreign country," Namjoon mumbles, staring at the dead body on Mr. Oh on the floor - a gunshot to the head.

Seokjin frowns.

"Well, I guess so much for going home tomorrow."

Chapter Text

"Okay, so maybe he didn't do it," Seokjin says defeatedly to Namjoon as they wait for Hoseok and Jungkook to arrive. Jimin and Taehyung have left to go find if anyone else had heard anything, and Namjoon and Seokjin were left waiting while the rest of the investigation team begins to record any evidence in the room. Unfortunately, there isn't much.

"Mr. Oh? You think he didn't hire the hitman?" Namjoon asks, thrown off guard from Seokjin's sudden announcement. He had been staring at his phone, eagerly waiting to hear from anyone else on the team. Yoongi still hadn't responded, Jimin and Taehyung were silent, and Jungkook had only sent a blurry picture of the road in response to Namjoon asking when they were going to arrive. "Do you think it was Youngho? I could see him doing the dirty work of hiring someone to kill for his boss's benefit, but why would he kill his boss? He didn't seem to have any ill intentions."

Seokjin scrunches his nose. "Oh, I don't care about them, I'm talking about Lukas. I know the evidence points to him being innocent, but I really think he could've done it."

Namjoon blinks. "Hyung, he was in custody when this all happened."

"The perfect alibi!" Seokjin insists, and it's really not the most ridiculous thing Seokjin has ever suggested, but Namjoon is still ready to refute until Seokjin leans over so that his head rests on Namjoon's shoulder, and the words (and the thoughts responsible for them) are gone.

"Namjoon-ah, did the bad guys not get the memo that it's past my bedtime?" Seokjin whines quietly, and Namjoon makes the mistake of looking down at Seokjin, where the collar of (Namjoon's) old t-shirt is worn out and loose and revealing enough for Namjoon's eyes to follow the trail of love bites from Seokjin's neck all the way to his chest. Which is bad, really bad, and then it's even worse because Namjoon remembers it's all from him, some kind of last hoorah before he's never allowed to touch Seokjin again, maybe not even think about him. 

"Very cruel of them, not to take that into consideration," Namjoon agrees, selfishly taking his hand and running it through Seokjin's hair, and he tries to not to focus on the fact that a couple of the more familiar faces among the investigation team stare at them.

"Do you think it'll matter if we wait until the morning to figure this out?" Seokjin groans, leaning into Namjoon's touch. Really, Seokjin is the cruel one. "I mean, if this is a hit-and-run sort of situation, then whoever did it is already long gone anyway. If it's one of the guests, then it'll be pretty obvious if they try to leave now."

"I don't think we can keep everyone here though," Namjoon says. "With Hitman Bang, we could keep everything on the down low. But we can't exactly hide this body, and I'm sure the event will be cancelled by the time this reaches the event coordinators in the morning. I won't be surprised if all the guests are gone by tomorrow night."

"Cowards," Seokjin grumbles. "Fine. Let's talk it out. Who had the motive to kill Mr. Oh, and do we think it's the same person who killed our hitman?"

Namjoon frowns. They're definitely missing something. It's like all of their key players have been removed from the game: their original arms dealers, the hitman hired to kill them, and the person who hired the hitman to kill them.

"Well, maybe we have to go back to why Mr. Oh would want to eliminate Deimos and Phobos. How did that benefit him? He seemed pretty eager to claim whatever we had," Namjoon says. From what it looked like, Mr. Oh was most likely to be their top bidder, easily outbidding anyone else. The only person who had looked even a little interested in keeping up with the bidding was Jiyeon, and even she had been intimidated by how quickly the cost had been raised. "Wait, do you think it was another bidder who took him out? Maybe they couldn't afford to compete with him, so they killed him instead?"

"That would implicate Jiyeon, wouldn't it?" Seokjin says, not looking convinced. "You think she did it?"

Namjoon shrugs. "Hyung, she introduced herself by having her bodyguard point a gun at us. I don't think murder is off the table." He thinks about the first time they talked to Jiyeon, and he can see where Seokjin is hesitant; while she seemed interested in the bidding, she didn't seem dead set on winning either. However, when they had talked to her earlier during the dance, something had seemed off; she seemed a bit worried about not winning.

"She also said we were cute," Seokjin points out, smiling.

Namjoon groans. "Is that really important to the case?"

Seokjin laughs. "Maybe not, but it's true. You're very cute, Namjoon-ah." He laughs again when Namjoon sighs loudly (mostly to cover up his embarrassment) and adds, "of course, I'm also very cute. Jiyeon wasn't lying."

"Everyone knows you're cute," Namjoon grumbles, pinching Seokjin's cheek and watching it turn red in front of him, licking his lips when he watches the blush travel to the tips of Seokjin's ears. He's cute. Really cute. Horribly, horribly cute.

"Then how come you never tell me that?" Seokjin asks, innocently fluttering his eyelashes as he looks up at Namjoon. 

"Don't enough people tell you already?"

Seokjin shakes his head. "But I don't care if they think I'm cute. I want you to think I'm cute."

"You already know I think you're cute." The words feel dangerous, and Namjoon almost regrets saying them. Of course, he doesn't think it's reasonable for Seokjin to think there's anyone who doesn't find him cute, so of course Seokjin knows that Namjoon thinks he's cute. Namjoon is just worried that Seokjin knows about all the Feelings that come along with the thought.

"Yes, but I would like you to say it," Seokjin says, pouting. "Don't you like it when I call you cute, Namjoon-ah?"

"I don't need you to call me cute, hyung."

Seokjin huffs. "It's not about what you need, it's about what you want. Don't you want me to call you cute?”

Namjoon stares at Seokjin, and then immediately becomes lost when his gaze meets Seokjin's.

           Is Namjoon good at reading people? A little bit, thanks to years of detective experience. But he's always been more of an open book when it comes to what he's feeling, so it's always been rough deciphering the subtle hints that other people tend to show when they're intending to hide what they're feeling.

Namjoon looks at Seokjin's eyes, and all he can read is the reflection of his own face looking at Seokjin, looking horribly in love. So Namjoon looks away, because outside of the reflection of Namjoon's poor emotional mask, there's a question in Seokjin's eyes. And Namjoon isn't good at reading people, and he certainly isn't good at reading Seokjin; but there's a question, and if Seokjin is seeing the same Namjoon in front of him that Namjoon is seeing in the reflection of Seokjin's eyes, Namjoon has a bad feeling what that question could be.

Namjoon looks away, letting his attention drift to the wall next to him instead. 

"I want...." Namjoon wants Seokjin. Wants him so much. Wants to say it too, to get it over with. There's a question in Seokjin's eyes, and it's asking Namjoon more than if Namjoon wants Seokjin to call him cute. He wonders if the reason that he can't read the second part of Seokjin's question is because Seokjin's question has already been answered.

Namjoon swallows.

"You're very cute, hyung," he mumbles, leaning forward and gently kissing Seokjin. It's brief, painfully so, but Namjoon knows he's already asking for too much. He wonders if he's answered Seokjin's question already. He wonders if that's the case, if Seokjin will let Namjoon kiss him again.

Someone clears their throat behind them, and Namjoon jumps about five feet back.

“Oh, you’re finally here,” Seokjin says quietly, standing behind Namjon. “I was beginning to think you had finally quit.”

Hoseok’s eyes and smile don’t match.

Namjoon swallows. He can barely look at Hoseok, fearful of what kind of expression Hoseok will face him with. Hoseok doesn't tend to say much directly about Namjoon's feelings for Seokjin - not after years of Namjoon refusing to admit to them. However, Namjoon is still expecting Hoseok to make a comment about how stupid Namjoon is being - letting his feelings get the best of him and taking advantage of their undercover positions - even if it's in a more discrete way.

Namjoon glances at Hoseok, and is confused; Hoseok's eyes look right past him, and are focused on Seokjin instead. Hoseok still doesn't look very happy; but there's something else that Namjoon can't decipher, but it melts away when Jungkook joins the room, holding their bags of supplies and asking where Hoseok wants him to put them.

"Just set them down wherever, it doesn't sound like there's too much to look at but we'll do a quick check anyway," Hoseok says, and when he smiles at Jungkook, it's a lot more sincere. Namjoon turns back to Seokjin, to see what his partner is thinking of Hoseok's apparent attitude, but when Namjoon looks at Seokjin, Seokjin has already drifted off to talk to some of the crime scene workers.

"Have you been updated on what happened?" Namjoon asks Hoseok, choosing to follow behind Hoseok towards the body instead of chasing after Seokjin. For this moment in time, behind the crime scene tape and out of the eye of the rest of the hotel guests, Namjoon is getting a taste of what it's going to be like when the undercover investigation is over. Like eating dessert before a real meal - Namjoon's appetite is ruined, and he no longer wants to eat.

"For the most part," Hoseok says, crouching down next to the body. Jungkook is already squatting next to him, donned with a pair of gloves and holding out a pair for Hoseok to take. "I think there's a few things I'm missing out on, but I don't know if you really have time to tell me about them." There's the pointed glare Namjoon was waiting for, and he flinches. 

"We're undercover," Namjoon tries, not knowing what else to say in such a crowded room. He can't explain how he can barely hold back from shouting his feelings to the world anymore, much less stop himself from accidentally telling Seokjin and ruining their entire relationship.

"I wasn't asking," Hoseok says, rolling his eyes as if he wasn't lying. "You guys heard the gunshots, right? Tell me about that."

Namjoon bites his lip at Hoseok's dismissal, but Hoseok is right; they don't have time to talk about it. Maybe it's better that way, with Namjoon never having time to explain what the hell he was doing this entire case.

He recalls waking up to the gunshots. Seokjin in the bed next to him, naked. Oh no. Namjoon can't quite skip the imagery in his head, but takes a deep breath and starts describing everything he can remember, all things that Jimin had already questioned them about and documented, but he tries to tell Hoseok the best he recalls now that the memory is starting to go fuzzy. 

"So you think he was killed during the time you heard the weapon go off?" Hoseok asks. With his gloved hands, he begins to prod the bullet wound, peeling back the layers of Mr. Oh's clothes so he can get a better look.

"I mean, what else am I supposed to think? Does the body indicate differently?"

Hoseok shakes his head. "Definitely fresh. How many shots do you think were taken? I can only see the one on his body?"

"I only heard the one," Namjoon says. "I woke up to the sound, and immediately went to investigate." 

"Who are our suspects and what firearms do they own? It looks like the bullet is still lodged inside the victim, but I'll have to take him back to the lab to investigate it properly." Hoseok takes one last glance at the ventral half of Mr. Oh's body before gently shoving him so he's on his side, letting Jungkook hold him up while Hoseok takes a glance at Mr. Oh's back. "Hopefully we'll be able to identify the bullet in time for it to be useful for you guys."

"I have a list of suspects, but I couldn't tell you exactly what they own," Namjoon says. "But Jimin might have it on record, so I would send the information to him if you find out anything."

Hoseok raises his eyebrows. "Uh huh. I see you and Seokjin have been a bit busy with other things, hm?"

Namjoon's cheeks burn. "We're undercover."

Hoseok hums, standing back up and taking his gloves off. He tells Jungkook to help move the body for transportation, and while Jungkook seems a bit confused on why Hoseok is lingering, he doesn't say anything.

"While Jungkook is dealing with that, let's talk about the case really quick," Hoseok says, wrapping an arm around Namjoon's shoulders and definitely not giving him a chance to answer, because if Namjoon had a chance to answer, he would definitely not agree to talk to Hoseok about something that is definitely not the case.

They can't actually leave the hotel room to avoid the guests seeing Namjoon associating himself with law enforcement and ruining his undercover role, but Hoseok pulls him as far away from the body and the people crowding it. This includes Seokjin, who has only glanced over at Namjoon once or twice only to immediately look away when Namjoon catches him staring. Namjoon doesn't want to think about the fact that Seokjin is probably embarrassed about the fact that he got caught letting Namjoon kiss him when he doesn't even like Namjoon. Maybe he's embarassed that Hoseok caught him indulging Namjoon on his stupid little crush. Maybe Hoseok was glaring at Seokjin for letting Namjoon have dessert and ruining his appetite.

"So the undercover mission. Tell me about it," Hoseok says, immediately poking Namjoon's neck when he goes to protest. "This, my friend, is a hickey. You're going to tell me about it, and how it has absolutely nothing to do with you being undercover."

"A convincing part of my role disguise?" Namjoon offers weakly.

"A convincing part of you being in love with Seokjin, I'd be more likely to say."

"I don't know why you'd say that," Namjoon says, trying not to panic, keeping his voice quiet and calm like his hand wasn't caught in the cookie jar. "He's just really invested in the role. He should be. I am too."

"Bullshit," Hoseok says, glancing over at Seokjin. Once again, Seokjin looks away from them the moment he's caught staring. Namjoon just prays that Seokjin can't hear what they're talking about, because even though Namjoon is horribly convinced that Seokjin has figured out Namjoon's feelings, he doesn't want any further evidence to confirm it.

"I don't know why it matters to you," Namjoon mumbles, backing away from Hoseok's proding fingers. "It'll all go back to normal after this, and I'll be fine. It'll be great. Totally normal."

"I love you Namjoon-ah, I really do, but it's not you I'm worried about," Hoseok says, and it feels like Namjoon's worst fears have been confirmed; if Seokjin knows about Namjoon's feelings, it's going to be a burden for Seokjin.

"It'll be fine," Namjoon tries to reassure Hoseok; or more likely, he tries to reassure himself. The words spilling out of his mouth must be for Hoseok though, because Namjoon already knows that going back to being just partners with Seokjin is going to be unbearable. It will most definitely not be fine. "Absolutely fine."

"You don't think anything has changed? Nothing?"

"What would've changed?" Namjoon glances at Seokjin, and this time he's the one to look away when he gets caught staring. "He's still the same person, I'm still the same person, and when we go home in the next couple of days, he'll still try to steal my desk at work and I'll have to yell at him for it."

Hoseok rolls his eyes. "Is that what you call what we walked in on you doing?" Hoseok makes little quotation marks with his fingers. "'Yelling'?"

"That's different," Namjoon quickly says, and when he tries to find a valid excuse for kissing Seokjin in a room full of people who already know their actually identities, his head comes up empty and he's forced to look at Hoseok wholooks unimpressed with Namjoon's excuses, lips pressed into a thin line. Namjoon feels like he's choking under Hoseok's gaze, because the longer Hoseok glares at him, the more and more Namjoon realizes what a mistake it was, letting the flood gates open instead of patching up the leak like he's done all these years. But is it really his fault that after so long all his tools are broken? No more tired sighs to deflect Seokjin's bright smile, no more eye rolls to shield Namjoon from Seokjin's giggles that make his heart flutter. His hammer is broken, the wood is gone, and the last nail has rusted away and Namjoon was left with a leak he couldn't patch - it was only fair to let himself break a little, wasn't it?

Namjoon blinks, and is surprised by how warm his eyes feel; watery, ready to spill. He blinks again, and quickly rushes to rub his eyes when he feels a tear escaping, covering his face in case anyone was looking.

Hoseok's expression softens, and with a gentle sigh, he places a hand on Namjoon's shoulder and squeezes. "Namjoon, you know it's okay to admit you're in love with him, right?"

Namjoon shakes his head. "I'm not, Hoseok, I'm really not. I promise." If he says it enough, he'll have to believe it.

"You're really fucking dumb, Namjoon-ah. But I suppose hyung isn't very smart either."

Namjoon frowns. "Hyung isn't dumb."

Hoseok snorts, and laughs quietly. He covers his smile with his fist, but it's apparent in his eyes. "Oh, of course not. I would never expect you to agree."

"Hyung, are you coming?" Jungkook asks, poking his head inside the hotel room. He has the car keys in his hand, and he jingles them. "If you don't hurry up, I'm gonna take the driver's seat."

"Over my dead body," Hoseok quickly says, rushing after Jungkook who runs off, laughter emanating into the room. Hoseok only pauses once before leaving to look over at Seokjin, and while he doesn't speak Namjoon can make out the words he's mouthing: 'call me'.

 

+++

 

One of the investigation members escorts Namjoon and Seokjin back to their hotel room. It's still too early in the morning for anyone to be awake, but they don't speak on their way back to their room. Namjoon's thoughts are left alone with the soft thumping of footsteps against carpet, and he really wishes they weren't; right now he's thinking about how he's used to Seokjin's shoulders bumping against him when they walk side by side, and now Namjoon is forced to view only Seokjin's back as he continues to walk ahead of Namjoon. Maybe Namjoon is just walking too slowly, the early time of the day not allowing him to pick up his speed.

His brain tells him that Seokjin's feet pick up their pace whenever Namjoon tries to catch up.

They arrive back at their hotel room, and Namjoon can't even say anything before Seokjin heads straight towards the bathroom, and slams the door behind him. 

"Hyung? Are you going to come back to sleep?" Namjoon asks after knocking on the door with no response. "It's too early to do anything soon, don't you think it'd be better to go back to sleep while we can?"

There's silence, and then a shaky sigh. "I'll sleep on the plane ride home, Namjoon-ah."

"Do you think we'll be going home tonight?" Namjoon knows the case time is limited, but it's still a slap to the face each time it's mentioned.

"I mean, probably. I don't know. Does it matter? We're going home eventually, right?"

Namjoon wants to scream that maybe Seokjin should've reminded him that from day one of the case, because Namjoon has fully invested himself in a role that's always been temporary. 

Namjoon knocks again on the door. "Hyung, you should really try to get some rest now. There's no way you got enough sleep to function through the rest of the day." Namjoon knows, because even though Seokjin had been half asleep when he maneuvered them into the shower last night and practically out by the time Namjoon had managed to get something for Seokjin to wear to sleep, he also knows it had been far later in the night than it needed to be for Seokjin to get any decent sort of sleep.

"If you're tired, you should go to bed," Seokjin says. He sounds distracted. "I'm thinking I might start trying to find the weapons. Might be a good time, since everyone is asleep and won't be able to think anything of it."

"Oh, then I'll go with you-"

"I think you should go to bed."

Namjoon blinks, staring at the door as if it's the one who spoke and not the person behind it. "Don't you think it'd be better if we worked together to find it?"

"You wanted to go to bed, right?"

"I can sleep on the plane ride ho-"

"You should go to bed."

Namjoon takes a deep breath. "Won't you join me, hyung?" His voice is high-pitched, and his chest feels tight. "Just one more night." Please . The clock on Namjoon and Seokjin's fake relationship is supposed to have an hour left to it, but it feels like Seokjin's grabbed the clock hands and has started to move them on his own accord.

The bathroom door swings open, and where Namjoon was leaning against the door, he almost falls in.

"See, you are tired," Seokjin quietly says, reaching forward and pinching Namjoon's cheek. Namjoon would protest more if he wasn't focused on how tired Seokjin looks, and in the background on the bathroom counter, Namjoon can spot the concealer that Seokjin's lazily put underneath his eyes, and it makes them even more unmistakably red.

Namjoon's heart stops when he notices that Seokjin's didn't just put concealer on his face; and it breaks when he finds that every visible love bite that Namjoon left behind, Seokjin has covered up.

"Come on, let's get you back in bed," Seokjin says quietly, pulling at the collar of his shirt once he realizes where Namjoon's eyes have landed. He nudges Namjoon out of the bathroom doorway, and continues to nudge him until Namjoon is somehow back underneath the covers and now that he's tucked in bed, he's more awake than ever.

"I can go with you," Namjoon tries one last time, and if he really wanted to, he could easily get out of bed and simply just follow Seokjin along and there's nothing Seokjin could really do to stop him; it is Namjoon's job after all. But more than going with Seokjin, he wants Seokjin to not look so horrified at the idea of Namjoon coming along with him.

"Hyung needs to go by himself," Seokjin says quietly, sitting on the bed next to Namjoon. The jacket Seokjin has pulled on is painfully not Namjoon's. "I just... Need a moment to myself."

Namjoon never fell in love with Seokjin to avoid ruining their relationship; and now he's starting to wonder if it was a waste of time to begin with.

Seokjin strokes Namjoon's hair, and after a moment of hesitation, leans over to press a delicate kiss to Namjoon's forehead, just a whisper against Namjoon's skin.

"I love you, Namjoon-ah," Seokjin whispers, so quietly Namjoon doesn't know how Seokjin expected him to hear it. Certainly, no one else listening in could ever pick it up.

"Call me if you need anything," Namjoon says, wanting to reach out and grab Seokjin. They're parted ways before during an investigation, but this is different. "Call me if you need-"

If you need me.

Seokjin leaves without another word.



+++

 

Expectedly, Namjoon doesn't fall back asleep.

The mattress is lumpy, the sheets are cold, and the sound of every late night car driving by at night is the loudest thing Namjoon has ever heard. He doesn't know why he ever thought he was tired, and after about an hour of tossing and turning, Namjoon pulls himself out of bed.

He grabs his cellphone and checks to see if he's gotten any messages as if he hasn't had the ringer for the first time in years. There's nothing, and he holds back texting Seokjin. Maybe Namjoon hasn't blown his cover for the case, but he's blown his three year cover of not being in love with Seokjin. And if Seokjin knows, Namjoon knows it's not fair to keep hanging over Seokjin with his feelings so fresh in the air.

Instead, he calls a different number, knowing that there's no way they're sleeping yet.

The phone picks up after one ring.

"Huh," Yoongi answers the phone with. "I didn't expect a call from you at this time of night." He hums, and then snorts. "Well, I was talking to Hoseok earlier, so maybe I shouldn't be surprised. What's on your mind?"

Namjoon tenses. "You talked to Hoseok?"

"Well, I had to get updated on the case somehow," Yoongi says. "So he told me about the case. And then he told me about you and Seokjin-hyung."

"There's nothing to tell you about."

"Oh? Is that why the tracker on Seokjin's phone is telling me you guys aren't in the room together right now?"

Namjoon glances at the room, as if he'll spot Seokjin actually sitting there despite Yoongi's information. He sighs; at least Seokjin brought his cellphone with him. "Do you just have a tracker pulled up at all times or something?"

Yoongi laughs. "No, I'm lying in bed right now. I'm not looking at shit - I just know you two. You wouldn't call me if you could talk to Seokjin instead, and hyung doesn't like to confront his issues. It's not hard to guess that he ran away somewhere."

Namjoon sighs. "So you can't tell me where he is right now?" Not that Namjoon plans on chasing down Seokjin, but he thinks it'd be reassuring to know where his partner is, especially when there's someone wielding a gun somewhere who definitely is interested in using it.

"Namjoon, you're very capable of calling him yourself and asking where he is."

Namjoon groans. "He doesn't want to talk to me right now."

"Oh, so there is something to talk about between you and Seokjin? Did you call to tell me about it?"

Namjoon shakes his head before remembering Yoongi can't see him. "No. To both of those."

"If that's not the case, what did you call about, Namjoon?" Yoongi asks, amused. Maybe a little exasperated, but Namjoon is pretty sure he can hear a smile in Yoongi's voice.

"Uh." Namjoon doesn't know why he called Yoongi. Or he does know why he called, but he doesn't want to admit Yoongi is right. Sort of right, at least. Namjoon doesn't want to talk about how he's ruined whatever kind of relationship he had with Seokjin by letting Seokjin know he's in love with him, but he does want to talk to someone who can at least tell him it's going to be okay.

"I wanted to talk about the case," Namjoon finally says, because it's the only answer he can settle on that isn't a complete lie. Seokjin had left before they could have any further discussion about the newest piece to their puzzle of a mystery, and the only problem is that their puzzle was supposed to already be completed and Namjoon can't figure out where the new piece is supposed to fit.

Yoongi sighs. "Well, that's not nearly as exciting, but sure, tell me about the case. I'll be honest, Namjoon, I'm a little lost as well."

Namjoon's shoulders relax, and he grabs the blankets off the bed and marches over a chair in the corner of the room and wraps himself up in the blankets before sitting down.

"Okay, so from the beginning. The case starts with our two guns dealers, Phobos and Deimos. We assume they're murdered by one of their future customers from an upcoming bid here at this event. Seokjin-hyung and I come undercover as them to identify all the bidders."

"Which you did. I doubt we're going to be able to get them all in custody, but we've managed to bring some charges in on Lukas," Yoongi says. "Though I suppose him being in custody brings us to our next problem."

Namjoon groans. He hadn't felt confident on calling Lukas their murderer, but he also hadn't felt bad about it, so it's hard to not be disappointed that their suspect for the murder of the hitman  had been ruled out for being in their own custody during the murder of Mr. Oh.

"So we have three different kills," Namjoon says, trying to straighten it out. He wishes he would've brought a notebook with him, if only to have something to organize his thoughts on. "The killing of our guns dealers, who we have good evidence to suggest was done by Hitman Bang. The assumption was that he was hired by one of the bidders, and we suspected whoever hired him was the one who killed him."

"What about now? We've confirmed that Mr. Oh hired the hitman, and not Lukas. Do you think he killed Hitman Bang, or at least ordered someone to kill him?'

This is where Namjoon draws a blank. "If Mr. Oh was the one who wanted Hitman Bang dead, then that means we have two different killers. Mr. Oh, for ordering the death of Phobos and Deimos and the death of Hitman Bang, and then someone who wanted Mr. Oh dead."

Yoongi hums. "That makes things a bit more complicated, doesn't it."

Namjoon groans. "So fucking complicated. Could they not be a little more considerate about the whole thing?"

"Agreed. But let's look at it this way. If we assume all the murders are connected, than we're left with the thought that Mr. Oh got the murder on Hitman Bang, and then someone unrelated to the murder but related to the overall case decided to kill Mr. Oh, most likely for being the winning bidder."

"Seokjin-hyung and I talked about that. Jiyeon was acting pretty weird about the whole thing. Seemed a bit nervous about not having the money to compete in the bidding. But really, any of the bidders could be responsible. I don't think Mr. Oh was very subtle on his plan to win."

"Then you think it was her?"

Namjoon sighs. "I think it's possible, but Seokjin-hyung disagrees. And it's not like any of the other bidders aren't capable of murder."

"You reported that her bodyguard held you at gunpoint, right? Do you remember what kind of gun it was? We've identified the bullet, so if you have what weapon she has, we can at least see if the bullet is compatible at all."

"Hyung, I barely remember what kind of gun I own, much less Jiyeon's bodyguard's. But I'll ask Seokjin when I see him." It's almost nice to have a question ready to ask Seokjin once Namjoon finally gets the courage to stop letting Seokjin avoid him. At least it'll be one step back to being normal - two partners discussing the case.

"Sounds like we have a plan," Yoongi says. "I'll continue looking into Mr. Oh's background and see what motive he would've had for killing the guns dealers he seems so eager to purchase from, so I'll let you know if I find anything. Right now I want you two focusing on retaining your cover and proceeding with the bidding, to see if we can lure out whoever our supposed second killer is." Yoongi sighs. "It looks like our time has been cut short though, so start wrapping things up."

"I'll make sure to let the bidders know that the bidding is ending tomorrow. Hopefully we'll have enough time before everyone gets sent home."

Yoongi says something, but Namjoon's phone starts ringing in his hands, and he quickly pulls the phone away from his ear to look at the caller ID, and he almost drops his phone in surprise from seeing Seokjin's name.

He quickly brings the phone back to him and tells Yoongi, "Oh, I have to go! Seokjin is calling."

"Damn, I was really expecting to get a call from him too. Can't believe he called you before he called me," Yoongi says. There's a pause, and then, "Oh, Hoseok texted that Seokjin called him. That makes sense."

 "Uh. Did he happen to mention what Seokjin said?"

Yoongi laughs. "He didn't, but it's just a good reason to give him a call." Yoongi pauses, and clears his throat. "I won't be telling you, if that's what you're wondering."

"No, that's fine," Namjoon quickly says, and it really is, because if Namjoon actually has to hear what Seokjin is thinking then he will have to face The Consequences of His Feelings and he really rather not. If anything, he'd like nothing more than to have no clue what Seokjin is thinking at the moment. Namjoon doesn't even really want to know what he's thinking himself, at the moment. "Anything else to add about the case?"

"Have you considered that the murders aren't connected at all?"

Namjoon groans. "Okay, anything good to add? Something that we actually have time to investigate?"

Namjoon thinks it's a little rude that Yoongi laughs at him, but he also thinks Yoongi has a nice laugh, so he can't be too mad about it. "Well, if that's it, I gotta pick up hyung's call - any last words of advice?"

"Have you ever just considered telling him you love him?"

Namjoon hangs up on the call, and picks up Seokjin's call.

"Sorry, were you sleeping?"

"Was on the phone with Yoongi," Namjoon says, and even though he really has no interest in what Seokjin's thoughts are right now, he's still tempted to mention Seokjin's phone call to Hoseok. Maybe just for a hint of how mad Seokjin is at him. "Where are you?"

"Parking lot. Meet me here?"

Namjoon sits up. "Did you find something?"

"Of course I did. Would you expect anything less of me, Namjoon-ah?"

Namjoon laughs against his will.

"I'll be there in five."

 

+++

 

"You're two minutes late," Seokjin says when Namjoon finally gets to the parking lot, bundled in a few extra layers of sweaters to fight off the cold of the night. He also has his phone held out in front of him, acting as a flashlight in the poorly lighted parking lot.

"Hyung, when have you ever cared about being punctual?"

Seokjin grins. "I always care when I'm the one doing the waiting."

Namjoon sticks his tongue out at Seokjin, and pulls his jacket even tighter around himself. "Just tell me what you've got." He can do this. He can act normal. Seokjin already is - but it's already been shown that Seokjin has always been the better actor between him and Namjoon. But Namjoon is happy to pretend along with whatever Seokjin wants.

"It's admittedly not very exciting, and I was hoping you'd take a few minutes longer to get here so I could at least think of a dramatic reveal to make things more fun," Seokjin says, throwing an arm around Namjoon's shoulders. Seokjin is warm - yet the casual touch makes Namjoon feel colder than ever.

"So, I'll show you what I found, but you have to promise to not ask me how I found it," Seokjin says, glancing at Namjoon as he walks them over to a cluster of trucks parked near the back, all labeled with different wine brands.

"Hyung, if you want to tell me, you don't have to wait for me to ask."

Seokjin grins. "It might've involved picking some locks. And when I say picking, I mean breaking. But don't worry, I don't think there's any cameras back here."

"Yeah, never mind, don't tell me."

"Fine, I'll save it for the report for Yoongi. I'm sure he'll appreciate it," Seokjin says, and he turns off the light on his phone and it's so dark that Namjoon can only make out a shadow of Seokjin's smile.

"Hyung?"

"Sorry, I just want to make sure no one is following us. I have to say, it's a pretty good place to hide things right in the open," Seokjin says, and he gestures to the back of the small semi truck. "Go ahead, open it, the locks are already... handled."

At first Namjoon thinks Seokjin's wants him to open it to increase the suspense - but once Namjoon is trying to climb up to actually open it, he's more convinced Seokjin just wanted him to look like an idiot - and the thought is supported by Seokjin's squeaky laughter as Namjoon struggles until he finally gets the door open.

Namjoon can't see inside the truck until he pulls his phone out to turn on his flashlight, but even before that  - he can smell the gunpowder.

"Oh wow."

Namjoon is more than happy to admit he's not too familiar with guns. He's also more than happy to admit he'd like to keep it that way - but even knowing nothing, when he brings his light up to get a better look inside the truck, he knows what they've found is definitely Phobos and Deimos' weapon stash - and while Namjoon couldn't tell the value of the guns inside the vehicle, he's starting to see why some of their bidders might've been desperate to get their hands on them.

"I didn't open the other two trucks, but I'm wondering if they're the same," Seokjin says, hoisting himself up so he can get inside. He offers a hand out to Namjoon to help lift him up - and Namjoon almost reaches out to grab ahold before retracting his hand and helping himself up, no matter how much he struggles.

(The struggle up is nothing compared to the struggle of resisting taking hold of Seokjin's hand.)

"More than this?" Namjoon goes deeper into the truck, poking around. Most of what he can see are closed crates, but he can see one where the nails in it have become loose, and he can only assume Seokjin was picking at it earlier. When he lifts the lid of the crate, his eyes go even wider. "Shit, forget about Korea, are these even legal in the U.S?"

Seokjin scrunches his nose. "I don't even want to think about the states and their gun policies. And either way, there's no way Phobos and Deimos had a license or documentation for any of these, and certainly not the people who planned on buying it."

"What the fuck do you even do with all this?" Namjoon lets the lid shut, and he decides he's done looking. He lets his phone camera do the rest of the looking for him, taking pictures and quickly sending them to Jimim, Taehyung and Yoongi.

"Shoot people," Seokjin says, shrugging. "Though for our bidders in particular? I'm not quite sure. The only people who make sense are our two gang members. Everyone else doesn't seem to have much involvement in crime on that kind of level."

"Do you think they planned on reselling?"

"Or they didn't want them falling into the hands of any people opposing them. I'm starting to wonder if any of our bidders personally know each other."

Namjoon thinks back to events where all the guests were present. Nothing comes to his mind when he tries to pull up memories of any of the bidders interacting with each other or suggesting they knew each other in any other way.

"Remind me to ask when we sell these tomorrow," Seokjin says, snapping a few pictures himself before sliding his phone back into his pocket. "For now, I think it's best if we locked these back up and left everything as is. Don't want to make it look like an investigation happened."

"Do you even have a plan for that? Like, are we going to meet them out here?" Namjoon has put some thought into it, but he hadn't been able to get too far without knowing what they were actually dealing with. Now that he knows the extent of the haul they have, he feels a bit thrown off. "It's a bit too out in the open for my preferences."

Seokjin licks his lips. "I agree. But I don't think any of the bidders will be very enthusiastic to seal the deal without seeing the weapons first."

"So we bring them out here, show them the goods, and then transfer the money somewhere else?"

"Something like that," Seokjin says, and Namjoon watches the gears in Seokjin's head grind - until they give up, and Seokjin's shoulders go slack. "Fuck, Namjoon-ah, I'm exhausted."

"We could always go back to sleep," Namjoon says breathlessly, not daring to look over at Seokjin. His finger traces the lines of the wood of the crates. "Not much else we can do at this time of the night anyway."

"No, I'll..." Seokjin struggles to find an excuse, swaying back and forth on his feet.

"Hyung, you look like shit."

Seokjin gasps. "No I don't!" He messes with his hair, smoothing it down and rubbing the sleep out of his eyes. "Wait, do I really?"

Namjoon sighs. "You don't." You never do . "But you need to be awake enough to wrap up this investigation in the morning, so let's go back to our room, alright?"

Seokjin swallows. "Our room," he echoes quietly.

"Just for one more night," Namjoon says, desperate to reassure Seokjin and himself that it's going to be okay.

Just one more night.

 

+++

 

Namjoon wakes up to Seokjin's alarm going off at six in the morning.

Despite it being Seokjin's alarm that Namjoon would've never set for so early, Namjoon manages to wake up before Seokjin, reach over to the nightstand where Seokjin's phone is, and turn the alarm off without Seokjin even stirring in his sleep.

Unfortunately, the only reason Namjoon is able to reach Seokjin's side of the bed is because at some point during the night, the two sides of the bed that had been so evidently divided by Seokjin's back turned to Namjoon had now disappeared, Seokjin halfway lying on top of Namjoon with his hand resting on top of Namjoon's chest.

Namjoon looks at Seokjin, who doesn't look nearly as determined to sleep on seperate sides of the bed now that he's sleeping, and for a moment, Namjoon wants to selfishly stay like that - because when's the next time he'll ever be able to wake up like this?

Namjoon gently slips out from underneath Seokjin, doing his best to roll Seokjin back over to his side of the bed as if nothing had happened at all last night - like nothing had happened at all the entire case. The entire time, they had always slept on their side of the bed, and Namjoon had never made the mistake of crossing that line.

By the time Namjoon is dressed and is ready to leave, Seokjin is finally waking up, and Namjoon bites his tongue when Seokjin stares in confusion at his phone, mumbling something about the alarm not going off.

"'Morning," Namjoon manages, pretending like he's packing his clothes up. Well, he's not really pretending, but considering how unsuccessful he's been at the task, he might as well be. He can't help but continually be distracted by the fact that half of his clothes pile has intertwined with Seokjin's, and he doesn't really know how to ask for his clothes back

(The problem begins with Namjoon not really wanting Seokjin to give them back).

Seokjin grunts in reply, rolling over in bed without a care in the world as he crosses over the imaginary line that divides the bed. It shouldn't really matter, considering Namjoon isn't even in the bed anymore, but Namjoon's heart still clenches.

"You should've woken me up," Seokjin complains, swinging his legs off the side of the bed and sitting up. His eyes are still closed. "We have a long day ahead of us."

Namjoon grimances. "Hopefully not. I'm thinking we go in, finish the auction blindly, and go through with whoever gives us the largest bid. And hopefully not get killed at some point in it, considering that seems to be the theme of the case."

"I would never let them hurt you," Seokjin quickly says, finally finding the energy to stand up. He stretches his arms high into the air, and the bottom of his t-shirt rides up enough for Namjoon to see his belly button.

Namjoon swallows. "I would never think you would, hyung."

"I'll keep reminding you either way," Seokjin says, tearing his gaze away from Namjoon and finally standing up, making his way to his suitcase. "Shouldn't we let someone else pack our stuff? Or we could always pack it after we finish the sale."

"The dining hall doesn't open for another thirty minutes anyway," Namjoon reminds Seokjin. He tries not to stare too much at Seokjin sifting through the pile of clothes on the ground, a pile that definitely contains a mixture of Seokjin and Namjoon's clothes. Namjoon watches as Seokjin picks up a shirt than definitely belongs to Namjoon, and because he waits for Seokjin to claim it as his own like he always does with Namjoon's clothes, it feels like a punch to the gut when Seokjin gently throws it Namjoon's direction.

"It's yours," Seokjin says, not looking over. He continues to sort through the pile of clothes, and now Namjoon wishes he would've sorted their clothes before Seokjin woke up, so he could've drawn the line of division before Seokjin.

The rest of their packing is silent.

"I win!" Seokjin finally announces several minutes later, sitting on top of his suitcase so he can get it shut enough for the zipper to actually work. The zipper looks ready to break.

"If that breaks open at the airport, I'm not helping you pick it up," Namjoon says. He looks over at his own suitcase, which isn't nearly as full but he's also taken the time to properly fold all of his clothes and organize things in a mannerly fashion. He's tucked his things away where they belong, so hopefully nothing breaks.

"Well, it better not break, because I don't have time for that," Seokjin says, though even he's looking at the straining zipper skeptically. "Also, I think I packed all my underwear at the top, so that'd be really embarrassing."

Namjoon snorts. "Yeah, definitely not helping you pick it up."

Seokjin wiggles his brows. "Namjoon-ah, are you saying you have something against my underwear? Is that why-"

Seokjin stops speaking, standing up and placing his suitcase next to the door. He momentarily leans against the door, almost as if banging his head against it. Namjoon can hear the deep breath Seokjin takes, and subconsciously, Namjoon joins him. Deep breath in. Deep breath out.

"Alright, hurry up, I'm leaving without you," Seokjin declares, even though there's still plenty of time before they'll be allowed into the dining hall. Even then doesn't confirm that all of the bidders are going to be there. It doesn't look like Seokjin cares though, sneaking out the door without any further word.

For three years, Namjoon has been chasing after Seokjin; certainly, there's no better day for Namjoon to stop than today.

Namjoon abandons his half packed suitcase, and quickly stumbles out of the hotel room to catch up to Seokjin.

"Alright Namjoon-ah, place your bets," Seokjin says, not surprised at all to see Namjoon following behind him.

"Bets on what?"

Seokjin clicks his tongue. "On who the murderer is, obviously."

Namjoon snorts. "Hyung, isn't that the whole point of our investigation? I can't make a bet on something I have no information on."

"Boring," Seokjin says. "Bets aren't supposed to be made off information, they're supposed to be made off hopes and dreams of winning. So let's try this again." Seokjin raises his brows. "Who are you betting on, Namjoon-ah?"

"Wouldn't betting now make me biased when it comes to analyzing the evidence?"

"Not if you're an expert like me," Seokjin says with a grin. "So I'm putting my money on our two gang members, Sungmin and Minseo. I think they'd benefit the most from the truck full of weapons, and I think they have the resources to identify a hitman and take him out. They probably have a big enough of a group that they didn't have to get their hands dirty at all."

Namjoon nods; Seokjin has a point. "Do you think they'll try to raise their bid and win?" As far as Namjoon knows, Minseo and Sungmin hadn't apporached with a higher bid, but neither had most of the bidders. "And if we do think it's them, should be worried about them eliminating the competition again rather than placing an honest bid?"

Seokjin shakes his head. "I don't think they'd have time to do it without causing too big of a mess," he says. "More likely to try to off us rather than everyone else."

"That doesn't sound much better."

"It sounds exciting to me," Seokjin says. "And if they threaten to shoot us, that's enough reason to put them into custody and detain them until we get more evidence against them. It sounds like a win-win situation to me."

"Wait, what's the other win?"

Seokjin laughs, and oh god , Namjoon really wishes he wouldn't, because not only does it make Namjoon highly concerned about Seokjin's next response, but also because Namjoon is incredibly weak and Seokjin's laugh is one of his favorite things.

"We get to experience a shoot-out and catch the bad guys. I think it's been too long since we've had our last shoot-out."

Namjoon wants to mention how they were just running away from bullets in the states just a week ago, but he bites his tongue because Seokjin starts laughing again just based on Namjoon's facial reaction, and if Namjoon says something while Seokjin is laughing it might be a love confession.

Seokjin's laugher slowly fades, and Namjoon is still staring at Seokjin like an idiot and oh - maybe that's why Seokjin has stopped laughing. The front pieces of Seokjin's hair have fallen in front of his face, eyes peaking through the strands of blond hair.

Namjoon bites his lip, and reaches out to push the hair out of way. Seokjin stays frozen, but his eyes track Namjoon's hand the entire time, breath pausing when Namjoon pauses when his hands touch Seokjin's hair.

"Your hair looks really good like this, hyung," Namjoon says quietly, because it's not something he really planned on saying at all. Namjoon isn't allowed to say his feelings, has been filtering them out of his words, but there've been so many feelings held back, his filter is clogged and broken, and little bits and pieces are starting to slip through.

"Oh." Seokjin blinks at Namjoon, like he's unsure of what he's seeing. He nods slowly. "I'm glad you like it." His words sound strained, and his cheeks begin to turn red. Namjoon is more than tempted to continue touching Seokjin's face, to see how hot his skin can become underneath Namjoon's hands.

But then Seokjin puts a hand on top of Namjoon's, and before Namjoon can explore the traveling blush on Seokjin's face, Seokjin pulls Namjoon's hand away, gently placing it back at Namjoon's side. He lets go with a soft pat to the top of Namjoon's hand.

"Come on, let's go," Seokjin says, turning back around. His runs his hand through his hair, making sure his fringe is pushed back and out of the way. However, no matter how much he tries, a small piece of hair always falls back forward.

They arrive at the dining hall too early, just as Namjoon predicted. However, what Namjoon didn't predict was that they're not the only people here early, probably all preparing to leave after eating. More than half the guests are gathered outside of the locked dining hall doors, and one staff member finally pokes their head through the doors, promising the guests that the cooks are hurrying to have food prepared so that they can open early.

"Did they send out an official memo that the event is cancelled?" Namjoon asks, pulling out his phone to check his email. He doesn't see anything, and he glances over to see Seokjin checking his phone in a similar manner. "I doubt everyone here heard the gunshots last night."

"I think most of our contact info given to the hotel actually belongs to devices Jimin and Taehyung are monitoring, so I wonder if they got it and just forgot to mention it," Seokjin says, quickly typing a message out to Jimin. "Though I imagine it's something they would've called about. Maybe while we were still sleeping?"

Seokjin sends the text and pockets his phone before standing on his tip toes and observing the crowd. Namjoon isn't sure if Seokjin is looking for someone in particular, but Seokjin's eyes suddenly light up and before Namjoon can ask him what he's seen, Seokjin is heading off in the direction and Namjoon has no other option but to follow behind blindly.

"Good morning," Seokjin says to a face that hasn't seen in a little bit, but he still remembers Minsoo, the bidder who had been far too friendly with Seokjin. He watches Minsoo's face light up when he realizes it's Seokjin addressing him, and Namjoon can't help it - he gently places his hand on Seokjin's waist, almost hovering above. "I see you got here bright and early like the rest of the crowd."

Minsoo shrugs, glancing over at the woman next to him - Namjoon assumes it's his wife. "One of the staff had come and alerted me of the situation earlier this morning. Our plane tickets have already been rescheduled for noon, so we're in a bit of a rush to leave."

"Too much of a rush to place a final bid?" Seokjin asks, smiling with the tilt of his head. "I can make it quick, I promise."

Minsoo laughs. "An experienced businessman, I can see." He glances at his wife, who's been looking at her phone the entire time. "Honey, what do you think? Is it worth it?"

She doesn't look up from her phone. "I'm pretty sure the bid has risen out of our budget."

Minsoo shakes his head. "I'm assuming the top bid has gone down, with the passing of Mr. Oh?"

Seokjin freezes. "It has," he says slowly, piecing together his words carefully. "Quite a good thing for you, I suppose."

"As unfortunate of an ending as it is for him, it is quite fortunate for me," Minsoo admits. "Though I suppose my luck is soon to run out if any of the other bidders were prepared to outbid him."

"They were."

Jiyeon slips into the conversation.

"Oh, I didn't realize we were introducing ourselves," Minsoo says, eyes widening at Jiyeon's appearance.

"The pleasantries aren't necessary. And I wouldn't waste your time trying to compete - I know your family's company is getting ready to file for bankruptcy," Jiyeon says, snorting when Minsoo cowers back. "Well, what are you waiting for? Move on."

He doesn't waste any time lingering around, despite the fact that he was technically the first one to stand there. His wife doesn't look surprised to get called out for the fact, and she follows behind him, unbothered.

"You've been doing more research than we have," Seokjin says once it's just them and Jiyeon. "I don't suppose you have any other interesting things to share with us. I don't tend to do business with people who don't have the money to participate."

Jiyeon laughs, her tension not exactly going away, but melting into something kinder than the attitude she had towards Minsoo. Namjoon just assumes it's the effect Seokjin has on everyone.

"I like to know who I'm competing with," Jiyeon says. Then she tilts her head and adds, "Or who I'm not competing with, I suppose. I heard the unfortunate news about Mr. Oh. From what I've heard, he was the top bidder at the moment, yes?"

Seokjin doesn't flinch. "I shouldn't be surprised that you know." Namjoon isn't surprised that Jiyeon knows - it feels like everyone knows about Mr. Oh - but he doesn't know what to do with the information. Was Mr. Oh bragging about his successful bid? Or perhaps his assistant Youngho had too loose of lips? Who was it who placed the bug in Seokjin and Namjoon's room to begin with? Were they still listening? Was there any point to Namjoon still having his hand on Seokjin's waist?

"It's an unfortunate situation," Jiyeon says, though her affect doesn't match her words; she doesn't look bothered at all by Mr. Oh's passing. "But I'm willing to meet his highest bid, or anything higher than what anyone else might have put in."

Namjoon frowns, and immediately covers it with his fist, pretending to cough while he turns away. Something about Jiyeon's attitude doesn't seem right. She had seemed so hesitant to meet Mr. Oh's bid earlier, and now she barely bats an eyelid at offering to outbid anyone.

Namjoon thinks about how she easily pushed Minsoo out of the boxing ring - while Namjoon had been relieved at the moment, now he's worried; what if Jiyeon's goal is to eliminate the rest of the bidders in any form she can?

"I don't suppose you'd want to share your motivation for the purchase," Namjoon says, more a thought than something he meant to share out loud, and he quickly tacks on, "Just out of curiosity. It doesn't seem to be something someone in your kind of business would be interested in."

"I suppose it's natural to be curious," Jiyeon says. "But I'm afraid as lovely as you two are, that's private business that I can't be sharing with you."

"Not even if I say pretty please?" Seokjin asks, voice playful while he dramatically bats his eyelashes at Jiyeon. It gets Jiyeon to laugh, but she still shakes her head.

"You two don't need to worry your pretty heads about it," Jiyeon says. "Anyways, I have plans to leave by the afternoon, so we could get this business transaction sorted now, that would be wonderful."

Namjoon bites his lip and looks at Seokjin. He doesn't think that it's a good idea to just go with what Jiyeon's saying and dismiss the rest of the bidders, but he's also wondering if it's a waste of time to ask Sungmin and Minseo for their final bid. They're one of the few people Namjoon doesn't see gathered at the dining hall entrance, and Namjoon doesn't know if that's a good or bad sign.

"Do you have the cash prepared?" Seokjin asks after a moment of silence - most likely having the same internal debate that Namjoon is. "Unless you have it ready, I can't finalize a sale."

Maybe that was Seokjin's excuse to buy them more time, but Jiyeon simply smiles and points to the suitcase that she has been pulling behind her the entire time. She bends down, and tugs the zipper open just enough so Seokjin and Namjoon can get a hint of what's inside.

Seokjin breathes out. "That's a lot of money to be carrying around."

Jiyeon shrugs. "I don't plan to be carrying it around for a long time." She tilts her head. "That'll be your job, if you accept my offer."

Namjoon knows there's always the off chance that the money in the suitcase isn't real, or it's not nearly as much as it's supposed to be. But this is Jiyeon making a point, and he has to admit, the point has been made. At this point, he wants to leave the decision in Seokjin's hands.

Except Seokjin is silent, and he's leaning into Namjoon's hand (which still hasn't left Seokjin's waist for reasons Namjoon can't explain) and when Namjoon glances over at Seokjin he realizes he's being stared at, and there's a question in Seokjin's eye that's asking Namjoon to make the final decision and Namjoon does not like it. Not because he's not a good detective capable of making his own decisions, but because Seokjin's an even better detective and Seokjin being hesitant always makes Namjoon nervous.

Namjoon swallows, and tears away his gaze from Seokjin.

"Can we finish this business after we eat? I'm frankly too hungry to want to bother with this right now."

It only buys them a little bit of time, but Namjoon can feel Seokjin relax, and while Jiyeon seems unsatisfied with Namjoon's response, she mumbles something about having time to wait before wandering off.

"Do you see Sungmin and Minseo? Now would be a great time to go ask them if they want to submit a final bid," Namjoon says, getting up on his tippy toes in hopes of spotting the pair.

"No, they're probably still in their room," Seokjin says, joining Namjoon on his tippy toes and taking a quick look around. "Shit, I think I'm gonna text Jimin to go check on the room. With our luck they're probably dead."

A shiver travels down Namjoon's spine. "You think it's Jiyeon then?"

"Didn't you notice her bodyguard who never seems to leave her side is suddenly missing?" Seokjin says, and Namjoon feels incredibly stupid for not noticing. "I'm thinking that Jiyeon's here to secure the weapons, and she's sent her bodyguard off to secure any potential obstacles."

"What about the husband? Have you seen him around?"

"Fuck, I forgot about him. Do you think they even talk? I've barely seen the two of them interact," Seokjin says, glancing around the room. "He certainly isn't with her now. Maybe he's back at their hotel room as well? Or maybe he's an accomplice in the whole thing. Though I don't think he knows anything that's going on, judging by how close the two of them seem."

"Tell Jimin and Taehyung to go check the room out as well. If we're really thinking that Jiyeon and her bodyguard are capable of murder, then we have to consider the fact that Jiyeon would get rid of her husband if he found out anything that could lead to him interfering."

Seokjin nods. "Good point. I'll send Jimin a text now." He whips out his phone quickly, and before the message is even sent, he looks up at Namjoon. "But what do we do until then?"

As if on cue, the doors to the dining hall open, and a frazzled looking staff member stands at the entrance and begins to invite people inside, meekly apologizing as people start to flood into the room with echoing grumbles.

Namjoon's stomach growls.

"I guess we eat."

 

+++

 

"Jimin says it looks like Sungmin and Minseo have already left," Seokjin says with a frown as he stares at his phone. "I mean, I suppose it's better than them being dead, but I really wasn't expecting them to back out so quickly."

Namjoon agrees; it doesn't feel like people involved in the gang lifestyle would fearfully flee from a few murders. But at the same time, maybe they knew that it was only time before investigative forces became involved, and decided to ditch in order to avoid getting caught in anything. It still feels off to Namjoon though.

"Maybe Jiyeon paid them off? Or found something to blackmail them with? She had the information on Minsoo's company being bankrupt. Maybe she found some dirt on them and forced them to leave."

Seokjin hums. "I think that's the most logical possibility. I mean, gangs can act pretty seriously about that territorial stuff, right? Maybe Jiyeon made them feel like they were in her territory. Or whatever."

Namjoon groans. "Hyung, I think you've watched too many gang movies." Or maybe slept through too many of them, Namjoon thinks, remembering the few times he's been over at Seokjin's place watching a movie. It's always been after work, and the movie nights tended to end with Seokjin falling asleep (and only waking up to make sure Namjoon was properly watching the movie).

"I just really wish this case made more sense," Seokjin groans, shoving a bite of the remaining of Namjoon's waffle into his mouth. "I really thought this would be an easy mission. A little vacation, almost." His words are muffled with food.

"Well, it's almost done at least, whether we like it or not," Namjoon says, not mentioning that his version of not liking it has nothing to do with not having enough evidence to wrap up the case and a lot more to do with the fact that the next time Namjoon goes to sleep will be in a two-person bed that's only ever slept one back at his apartment.

"Yeah," Seokjin says, suddenly pushing Namjoon's plate back despite the fact that there's still half of an unclaimed waffle left behind. "We should go finish this. Now."

He stands up. "Where do you think Jiyeon went? I don't see her eating at any of the tables." Seokjin scrunches his nose. "And I don't see Jiwoo either. Maybe they went to go eat together somewhere else?"

"I don't know why they would go that far if Jiyeon's hoping to finish business with us soon after this," Namjoon says, following Seokjin's lead as they leave the dining hall, searching for Jiyeon.

They go down all the hallways until they eventually track back to Jiyeon's room. It's a punch to the gut, standing outside of Jiyeon's hotel room again. The last time they were outside of Jiyeon's room, they had just finished being held at gunpoint, and Seokjin had dragged Namjoon back to their hotel room and kissed him as if they were in love, for real.

This time though, instead of leaving Jiyeon's room, Seokjin gently knocks on the door and waits for a response.

The door opens quickly, but only slightly; Jiyeon sticks her head through the barely cracked open door. In the background, Namjoon can see hints of a completely trashed hotel room. He notes that he still doesn't see or hear any sign of Jiwoo's presence.

"Oh, I didn't expect you to finish eating so quickly," Jiyeon says, sounding genuinely surprised. Her hand reaches up to her ears, as if they want to continue the nervous habit of messing with her earrings - but her hand falls flat when she realizes her earrings aren't in.

"I thought you were in a rush?" Seokjin says. He isn't making obvious attempts to look inside Jiyeon's room, but Namjoon is positive that he's trying to decipher the scene behind the door just as much as Namjoon is. Something feels off.

"I am, of course," Jiyeon says, licking her lips. "Well, I'm ready to complete the transaction as soon as you're able to show me my purchase. You might imagine, it would be a bit much to just give you the money and trust you to lead me to the goods afterwards."

Seokjin glances at Namjoon. Hopefully Jimin and the others are already watching them at this point, or at least watching the truck in hopes of Namjoon and Seokjin leading them out there for the final transaction.

"Do you have the money on you still?"

Jiyeon shakes her head. "I've left it in the car with my driver. Planned on making a quick exit in the situation that you two changed your minds." She takes a deep breath, and takes the final step to exit her hotel room, shutting the door behind her. "If you want, we can go by and show it to you first."

Seokjin raises his eyebrows. "And then you'll hand it over?"

Jiyeon laughs. "And then you'll escort me to where you're keeping the weapons. But let's start by heading over to where my driver is waiting, shall we?"

Namjoon wants to call Jimin and make sure they're watching them, but Jiyeon seems nervous, and he's afraid something like a call will make her nervous enough to run away before the investigation is over, and that's the last thing Namjoon wants when it feels like they're so close to wrapping up the case.

Seokjin seems to have the same thought process, making no move towards his phone. He keeps his hands at his sides, shoulders relaxed, maintaining eye-contact with Jiyeon.

"Then lead the way, I suppose."

Jiyeon relaxes at the words, and while she's unnaturally quiet from what Namjoon has learned about her, she trudges ahead of them without looking back, trusting Seokjin and Namjoon to follow after her.

Namjoon gets a glimpse of Seokjin messing around with his phone in his pocket - which can't be easy or properly used - but Seokjin nods at him subtly, and Namjoon takes that as a sign to trust him. For a moment, he wants to reach out to Seokjin, and he's shocked to see that he's already extended his hand out to Seokjin, looking for what? Reassurance? Or simply just Seokjin's presence next to him?

Seokjin casually takes Namjoon's extended hand like it's not a big deal, like Namjoon doesn't currently feel like his shattered world is being held together by their intertwined fingers.

Jiyeon leads them to the hotel's parking garage, which is surprisingly vacant of people despite the fact that it seems like so many people had planned on leaving early. There's cars littered around the lot, showing how many of the guests still remain.

"I'm just over there," Jiyeon says, pointing to a car further into the parking garage.

"Namjoon, wait," Seokjin says, suddenly halting in place as Namjoon starts to stride ahead of them. Namjoon catches a glimpse of his eyes widening, brows furrowed in confusion - just in time for the eerily familiar feeling of a gun hitting his back.

"Keep walking," Jiyeon says, voice strained. Certainly nothing cold like the time Jiwoo pointed a gun at them back at the hotel, but certainly not the scarily joyful voice of the woman who had told her bodyguard to put the gun down. Something a little more desperate.

Seokjin looks back at the car Jiyeon gestured to, biting his lip.

"Please don't try anything," Jiyeon says, and her desperation is even more evident when she quietly whispers, "Please. Just keep walking."

Namjoon doesn't get it, why such a confident woman has so quickly turned desperate - even more so than when she couldn't secure the winning bid. It's not a play, it's not a trick; Namjoon knows that.

Namjoon looks back at the car ahead of them, that he's slowly being lead to - and it all clicks when he sees through the back windshield that Jiwoo's in the car, and she has a gun pressed to her in a similar fashion.

Jiyeon doesn't carry the gun against Jiwoo though - this gun belongs to a face Namjoon barely recognizes, one he only identifies when the holder of the gun turns around with an unimpressed expression.

"You were taking a long time. I was becoming impatient."

The speaker's voice is so monotone that Namjoon barely recognizes it belongs to the same waiter that had so casually asked Namjoon and Seokjin what they were doing in the closet.

"They wanted to eat," Jiyeon says quietly. "I brought them here, didn't I? Let her go."

The waiter snorts. "You're not done yet. There's two pairs of cuffs in the trunk. Open it and make sure they're secured in the back of the car.

Jiyeon's eyes widen. "And if they don't comply?"

The waiter narrows his eyes. "They wouldn't risk the life of a civilian." With the tilt of his head, he says in English, " Isn't that right, detectives ?"

"Detectives?" Jiyeon repeats in Korean, looking at Seokjin and Namjoon in shock. Her gun doesn't budge. "These two?"

"They had almost tricked you. Just think of me doing you a favor. They would've ruined your life," the waiter says, glaring at Seokjin. "Half of my family is behind bars because of them."

It clicks for Seokjin before Namjoon can even gather what the waiter is saying. Namjoon watches Seokjin eyes widen, and his jaw drops - before he recovers, pressing his lips into a tight line.

"You're from America," Seokjin says, maintaining eye contact with the waiter. "You were at that drug deal. You shot at us."

"Because you stole our fucking money!" The waiter exclaims, and he pushes his gun further against Jiwoo, who looks like she's trying her best to not squirm. "I don't get why you had to interfere. No one was being hurt."

The waiter looks over at Jiyeon. "These two were probably trying to trick you into buying from them so they could put you under arrest. Aren't you angry at them?"

Maybe it's because Jiyeon's standing right behind Namjoon, but he can hear the subtle hitch of her breath, and for a moment, it seems like her weapon relaxes against Namjoon. However, even if Jiyeon lowered her guard enough for Namjoon to think he could flip the situation between them, the waiter has a point; he wouldn’t do anything that would put Jiwoo’s life at risk.

“If you’re angry at us, why are you involving these two?” Seokjin asks, lightly gesturing towards Jiyeon and Jiwoo. “Why involve them?”

“Because they were in the way of my plan.”

“Then you killed Mr. Oh and Hitman Bang,” Namjoon says as the realization hits him. Motive and means. If the waiter had slipped into the hotel staff in order to get closer to Seokjin and Namjoon, it meant he might’ve had employee access to the rooms. An easy way to sneak in and out of the rooms.

“Mr. Oh wanted you killed before I did. I couldn’t have that,” the waiter says. “And I have a feeling you two know where the weapons are. We’re actually about to go for a ride so you can show me.” He looks away from Seokjin and turns to Jiyeon. “Alright, hurry up. We don’t have all day.”

“I’m sorry,” Jiyeon whispers quietly, and Namjoon is inclined to believe her - and he can’t imagine not doing the same if he was in her position with Seokjin in danger.

He doesn’t move even once Jiyeon withdraws her weapon, walking to open the trunk and retrieve the set of cuffs. Namjoon isn’t sure if he’s actually still breathing when Jiyeon puts the set of cuffs on him - he feels lightheaded as he watches her move onto Seokjin and do the same thing, cuffing his hands behind his back.

“Now what?” She asks after she takes a deep breath. Her voice is on the edge of shaking.

“Make sure they’re secured in the backseat. Then you’ll step away from the vehicle.”

“And you’ll let go of Jiwoo.”

The waiter sighs. “And I suppose I’ll do that if you stop taking so long.”

Jiyeon lets out a sound that’s almost like a whine, but she starts hurriedly pushing Seokjin and Namjoon towards the car, opening the doors and looking at them pleadingly. Namjoon isn’t given much of a choice, and he certainly doesn’t have any options he can think of on his own that don’t result in a civilian casualty or worse.

Namjoon looks over at Seokjin, hoping for an answer - but Seokjin’s still staring at the waiter, who’s hunched over the passenger side seat where Jiwoo is sitting, absolutely still. The waiter hasn’t lowered his weapon at all, as he cautiously watches Jiyeon secure Namjoon and Seokjin in the backseat and slam the door behind them.

The back doors quickly lock behind.

The waiter looks at Jiwoo. “I suppose it’s about time to let you go, huh?” He pulls the gun away, placing it back at his side, and Namjoon thinks this might be their only time to act before the waiter adds, “But leave the bomb in the passenger seat. And close the door behind you.”

Namjoon and Seokjin must visibly react to the mention of an explosive too much, because the waiter looks back at them and glares. “I tell you two the same thing I told them. Don’t get any funny ideas, or this whole thing blows.”

“My favorite thing to hear,” Seokjin says, relaxing slightly when Jiwoo is finally out of the car. The moment the door slams, she runs off, and while Namjoon isn’t really sure what Jiyeon and Jiwoo plan on doing now that their opportunity to win the auction is ruined, he’s glad they’re out safely. 

“Shut up,” the waiter says, starting the car up. Namjoon can see Jiyeon and Jiwoo in the rearview mirror, but it’s too hard to see much past their presence - he has no idea what they plan on doing.

And really, he doesn’t know what Seokjin and him plan on doing either. The bomb in the front seat throws off any plans Namjoon would’ve made - he doesn’t know what or where the trigger is for setting it off, but it’s too risky to try anything without finding out. Not to mention that Namjoon and Seokjin are both partially immobilized with their hands cuffed behind their backs, and the waiter is still the only one with a weapon on him.

“Okay, but like, is Robert your real name, or is the nametag a lie?” Seokjin asks, leaning forward to peer at the uniform the waiter is still wearing. Sure enough, the crooked name tag reads as so. “Like, I know you’re from America and stuff, but I really do think your parents could’ve done a better job giving you a more evil sounding name, you know?”

Sometimes Namjoon wonders how Seokjin’s made it so many years with the same personality and same approach to talking to bad guys. Namjoon thinks if he was evil and wasn’t horribly in love with Seokjin, he would’ve probably shot him by now for his attitude. 

“What does it matter to you?” The waiter asks sharply, driving them out of the parking garage and onto the main road. Namjoon is worried. As far as Jimin and Taehyung are concerned, there’s no reason for them to believe that Namjoon and Seokjin’s cover has been broken. His only hope is that they had been following them behind Jiyeon and Jiwoo and were also looking for a good way to approach the situation. But he’s also sure that the waiter - who knows they’re undercover - is expecting them to have some sort of backup. So he’s not sure if he feels relieved or concerned over the fact that he doesn’t see anyone following them out of the parking garage. 

“Oh, is it a sore subject for you? I would imagine.” Seokjin hums, feigning thought before asking, “Ok, new topic. Nice bomb you’ve got in the passenger seat. You make it yourself?”

Namjoon expects for the waiter to dismiss the topic, and he’s surprised when the waiter temporarily takes his eyes off the road to glance at Seokjin.

“You’d be surprised how easy it is. It didn’t take much work.”

“Have you made one before?”

The waiter shakes his head. “No, that’s not our family’s kind of business. We just delivered goods.” He takes a turn onto the main road, and the car starts to pick up speed. “Now tell me where we’re driving to.”

Seokjin smiles. “Well, there’s this restaurant nearby that’s really good, and I’ve been wanting to try it forever-”

The waiter keeps one hand on the steering wheel, but his other hand fidgets with his pocket, hovering too far away for it to be him reaching for his gun. Namjoon subconsciously nods, hoping that Seokjin has picked up on the same thing before looking away to avoid being caught staring.

“Okay, you’re not into trying new foods. I get it. Namjoon can be pretty picky too sometimes,” Seokjin says, his smile widening when Namjoon glares at him. “You’re gonna get onto the back roads. It’ll take a little longer, but it’ll stop us from being tailed.”

The waiter looks at Seokjin skeptically. “I’m sure you’re waiting on your backup to come save you two.”

Seokjin shakes his head. “As ideal as that would be, I rather you not blow up the whole car if they get too close. But they don’t know that, so let’s try to lose them, shall we? A win-win situation.”

The waiter hesitates, but sure enough, he takes the next turn off the main road, turning them onto a less crowded road. Namjoon still can’t see anyone following them in the mirror, but he’s also limited in his vision due to the fact that he doesn’t want to move around too much and make it look like he’s searching for backup. The only thing that reassures him is the fact that both Seokjin and him still have their cellphones on them, so once Jimin realizes their missing, it’ll be easy to track them no matter what roads they take.

Though Seokjin makes a point - they have no way of communicating that there’s a bomb in the car. The waiter doesn’t look very worried about being caught, so Namjoon doesn’t think he’d nervously hit the trigger if another car started following them, but if Jimin and the others tried to engage, it could end quickly. The only reassuring thing is that Namjoon recognizes the bomb as a backup plan for the waiter, and not a main attack. He doesn’t think the waiter will use the bomb unless he thinks he doesn’t have any other option.

“So Robert, what’s your plans for after this? Get the weapons, kill us, and then what? You got pretty lucky escaping from the drug bust. I don’t know if you’ll get so lucky this time.”

The waiter growls, “Don’t call me that. And I have a plan, and it’s none of your business.”

Seokjin clicks his tongue. “Robert, you’re not being very fair. I don’t know if I feel really motivated to lead you to the weapons with an answer like that.”

“Shut up, and I’ll let your partner live once you’ve given me what I wanted.”

Seokjin perks up at that. “How can I know you’ll fulfil that promise?”

Namjoon jerks his head toward Seokjin. “Hyung!” He doesn’t like the sound of what’s going on at all. He doesn’t think that the waiter has any intentions of leaving either of them alive, but if the waiter isn’t lying about his proposal, Namjoon isn’t any happier about the option.

“Don’t you remember Namjoon-ah? I’m the one who grabbed the suitcase when you told me not to,” Seokjin says, smiling at Namjoon; it’s a poor attempt at hiding the other thoughts going through Seokjin’s head, which are much better reflected by Namjoons’ deepening frown and sinking feeling in his gut.

Namjoon doesn’t know what to say. He knows it would be inappropriate to interject and beg for both of their lives, and he can’t see any possible way to flip the situation either. The more he thinks about it, the more he panics. He can tell Seokjin is trying to stall for now, but he knows that eventually Seokjin will lead them back to where the weapons are if he thinks it could save Namjoon’s life. The problem is what happens after that.

Namjoon stops thinking when he spots a car following behind them. He can’t see properly, and he casually squirms in his seat to try to get a better glimpse at the rearview mirror - which is when he realizes his cuffs are incredibly loose on him. He hadn’t noticed when Jiyeon had put them on, much more focused on trying to reduce the amount of firearms being aimed at people.

He continues to experiment with wiggling his wrists in the cuffs while casually trying to look out the window to see behind them. There’s definitely a car approaching them from the distance, and while it’s technically more likely to belong to a stranger rather than their backup, Namjoon has a feeling that’s not the case.

Namjoon looks at Seokjin, trying to figure out a way to communicate that his cuffs might be loose enough to slip them off; and then he sees that the only thing holding Seokjin’s hands behind his back is Seokjin himself, the cuffs already removed. 

Namjoon isn’t really sure why Jiyeon did them the favor, but he’s grateful nonetheless. It means he’s now able to focus more on the approaching car following them, and maybe it’s just wishful thinking, but he swears he can make out a blur of Jimin and Tahyung’s faces.

Unfortunately, he’s not the only one to notice, as the waiter begins to look more and more agitated, hands gripping at the steering wheel so hard that they begin to turn white. He bites his lip when he looks at the rearview window, and curses.

“Tell them to backoff,” he growls, accelerating. 

Seokjin snorts. “And how am I supposed to convey? Stick my head out the window like a dog and hope they get the memo?”

The waiter groans, and after another moment of thought, he rolls down his window, sticks his gun out, and fires a few shots.

Namjoon’s heard gunshots a million times, but they’re always louder when they’re directed at people he loves. 

“I’m sure they get the memo now,” the waiter grumbles, rolling his window back up and putting his gun back at his side. Namjoon makes a careful note of where exactly the gun is placed, and how quickly the waiter can access it.

The fact that the car following them doesn’t immediately turn around confirms for Namjoon that it’s definitely Jimin and Taehyung following them. There’s more of distance between them and their car now, but they’re definitely still trailing behind. What surprises Namjoon to see is that it’s not just the one car following them. There’s a few cars following Jimin and Taehyung, and Namjoon can only assume their backup if they haven’t turned away from the gunshots. It confuses Namjoon, because he didn’t think their support team was that big, but he dismisses the thought and looks over at Seokjin at hopes for some guidance.

Seokjin glaces down at Namjoon’s hands, and Namjoon takes that as the extra motivation he needs to pull his wrists out of the cuffs, biting his lip as he ignores how the tight squeeze is more than a little painful. But then his hands are free, and he’s ready to participate in any plan Seokjin might have.

“So Robert, how close do you let them get before you set off the bomb?” Seokjin asks, looking at the bomb. Namjoon looks too, but it’s never been his area of expertise, and his knowledge on explosives is limited. There’s too many lights and wires, and he doesn’t understand what any of them mean.

“It’s easier to just shoot at them.”

Seokjin hums. “The explosion wouldn’t be big enough to touch them then?”

“Not unless they’re dumb enough to ride my ass.”

“Damn, I thought we were dealing with something a little more exciting,” Seokjin says, subtly leaning forward in his seat. “Though I suppose it works better for me,” he mumbles, far too quiet for anyone but Namjoon to hear, and he knows Seokjin has a plan. He watches Seokjin stare at the back of the seat in front of him, deep in thought, until he finally comes to a decision.

Namjoon waits for Seokjin to turn to him and explain his plan for them both to escape.

Seokjin turns, and Namjoon is met with the saddest smile he’s ever seen.

“Namjoon-ah. Everytime I said I love you, I meant it.”

Namjoon frowns. “Hyung, what are you talking about-”

Seokjin shakes his head. “No, don’t worry about it. Just let me know if jumping out of a moving car is as fun as I thought it would be.”

And the next few seconds of Namjoon’s life are gone within the blink of an eye: Seokjin has one hand pulling up on the emergency break and the car begins to skid, slowing down. Another hand pushes Namjoon’s door open, and he barely has time to remember to jump before he’s being pushed out and flying out of the car, rolling onto the road with his arms helping brace the fall.

As Namjoon is rolling to a stop, he realizes three different things.

Multiple gunshots have just gone off.

Jumping out of a moving car is definitely not as fun as Seokjin thought it would be.

Namjoon might never be able to tell Seokjin that every time Namjoon said I love you, he meant it too.

Namjoon can hear the sound of a car coming to a screeching halt, and just like that, he can hear Jimin and Taehyung yelling out his name. For a moment, Namjoon forgets where he is, forgets what’s going, forgets why his two coworkers are shouting his name in such a concerned manner.

Namjoon is being carried into a car when the explosion goes off, and Namjoon still doesn’t remember anything - except Seokjin.

“Hyung,” he whispers, twisting in the carryhold he’s in - two people who suspiciously look like Jungkook and Hoseok have a hold on either side of him. “Wait, hyung, he’s still in the car, no, we need to go back-”

“It’s going to be fine, Namjoon,” Hoseok responds, helping place Namjoon in the back of a vehicle. “Now let’s get you to a hospital.”

Namjoon can barely see out the window hints of smoke coming from down the distance.

“What about Seokjin?”

Hoseok closes the door.

Chapter Text

Seokjin isn't new to being injured, and it's certainly not the first time his job has resulted in a trip to the hospital. He’s familiar with the sterile, bleach-like smell, the sounds of nurses and doctors chatting with computers and machines beeping in the background. The bed sheets are rough, and the room is chilled. It’s not Seokjin’s first time waking up in a hospital bed, and he knows what to expect at this point.

However, it’s Seokjin’s first time waking up in a hospital bed with someone holding his hand - and all expectations fly out of his head when he realizes it’s Namjoon, snoring quietly as he sits in a chair next to Seokjin, head resting against the bed frame. 

Seokjin blinks. Namjoon’s still there. He blinks again, because surely he must be seeing things. Or perhaps he’s dreaming - he isn’t sure there’s a reality where Namjoon willingly holds his hands. At least, not a reality outside of their last week of living undercover.

Namjoon’s still there when Seokjin blinks again, so this time he reaches up with his free hand to rub at his eyes, to rub the sleepiness out of them and hopefully provide a clearer vision of what’s actually in front of him. Except Namjoon’s hand is still warm pressed against his, and the cogs in Seokjin’s brain are starting to turn as he remembers exactly what happened.

Throwing the bomb out of the car just as the waiter had gone to reach for the trigger as a last minute defense mechanism, right after Seokjin had managed to disarm him after a few missed shots.

Before that.

Pushing Namjoon out of a car, praying to someone that he would be okay, that Jimin and Taehyung would grab him before the waiter tried to turn around.

Before that.

Thinking it would be the last time he’d ever see Namjoon, and selfishly confessing years of feelings-

“Oh fuck,” Seokjin whispers, before quickly slapping his hand over his mouth.

He finally directs his attention over to the nurse who’s charting on the computer to the other side of his bed. She looks in his direction at his outburst, tilting her head while she bites back a smile.

“I was just about to wake you up,” she says, holding up a plastic pill cup and shaking it; Seokjin counts at least three pills. “It’s time for your morning meds, if you’re feeling up to it.”

Seokjin eyes the pills. “Is one of them a sleeping pill?”

The nurse frowns. “No, but if you’re having troubles sleeping I can talk to the doctor about it. Are you having pain making it difficult to sleep?”

Seokjin shakes his head. “Not for me, him.” He points at Namjoon with his free hand, and curses when Namjoon hasn’t magically disappeared yet. “He can’t wake up until I’ve prepared my escape plan.” Seokjin didn’t actually think he’d have to face Namjoon after confessing to him when he decided to do it, and he’s certainly not going to be forced to face Namjoon now.

The nurse quietly laughs. “Well, you’re not going anywhere until the doctor decides what he wants to do with the wound on your arm.” Oh, Seokjin had been wondering why his arm had been aching so much. He assumed he had slept on it funnily, but now that the nurse mentions it, he has a vague, adrenaline-blurred memory of not being able to dodge the first bullet that was shot, a memory paired with the feeling of a searing pain in his arm. For now, it’s a dull throbbing, most likely thanks to the IV in Seokjin’s arm.

“Well, tell the doctor I’m more than happy to cut off my arm if it means getting out of here faster,” Seokjin says, making sure to keep his voice low - he knows Namjoon will have to wake up eventually, but he’s still forming a gameplan in his head and he’s not quite ready. He bites his lip. “Hey, do you think it’d be possible for me to have memory loss? But like, really specific memory loss where I lose about five seconds of memory of a certain moment and nothing else.”

“I mean, it’s possible. Do you think you’re experiencing memory loss?”

Seokjin groans, covering his face with his hand. “Unfortunately, no.” The more he thinks about, the stronger the memory gets. 

Namjoon-ah. Everytime I said I love you, I meant it.

“Oh my fucking god, I’m going to die,” Seokjin groans, face heating from embarassment as he recalls his words. He scrunches up underneath the blankets, covering his hand with his face, which slowly turns pink. “No, you don’t understand, it’s so embarrassing . Why couldn’t I have just kept my mouth shut?”

“I’ve been asking that for years ,” Yoongi says from the entrance of the hospital room, poking his head through the doorway but not quite stepping in all the way. “Is it a good time for me to come in?”

The nurse nods. “Let me just administer his meds and do a quick evaluation and I’ll let you two talk.”

The nurse begins her assessment, and Yoongi goes to reach for a chair to sit in before realizing the only available chair has been taken by Namjoon. He looks at Seokjin with raised eyebrows, and Seokjin's response is to swallow all the pills the nurse has given him and take a big drink of water to preoccupy his mouth while he thinks of an explanation.

He places the water bottle down. "Why don't you sit down?" Seokjin says.

Yoongi smiles. Yoongi doesn't smile too much while he's on the clock, so Seokjin knows how annoyingly delighted Yoongi is at the scene in front of him.

"Does that mean I should wake Namjoon up?"

Seokjin sticks his tongue out. "I was thinking that you could sit on the floor."

Yoongi rolls his eyes, but he doesn't wake Namjoon up - and much to Seokjin's disappointment, he doesn't take a seat on the ground either. "I'll make this brief then, since it sounds like you'll be discharged today. We can go over more of the details tomorrow."

Seokjin nods. "What do you need to know? I'm sure Namjoon was able to tell you what went down for this first part."

"He was, but I just wanted to clarify a few things," Yoongi says, and with a huff, he finally makes the decision to take a seat at the end of the hospital bed, wrinkling his nose at the hard landing that follows plopping his butt down. "Namjoon told me you helped evacuate him from the vehicle. I have reports from Jimin and Taehyung that gunshots went off immediately after they spotted Namjoon jumping out. The doctor told me you're suffering from a gunshot wound, but I also know the bomb was set off."

"See, you don't need me to tell you anything," Seokjin says, shrugging. "There's not much more than that. I got Namjoon out of the car, and I secured the perpetrator. How's he doing, by the way? Is he going to be shipped back to the states or are we dealing with him?"

Yoongi hums. "That's definitely something I wish I had an answer to, but I don't. Unfortunately, as I suspected, we weren't the only agency investigating the event. Since they're equally involved, I might let them take custody of the case."

"Wait, another agency? Who the fuck?" Seokjin asks, sitting up in the bed. He tries using his injured arm to push himself up, which results in him flopping back down almost immediately as he retracts his arm painfully. He then fumbles with the bed remote for a moment, grinning sheepishly at Yoongi while he props the head of the bed up higher.

"Oh, that's what I actually came here for," Yoongi suddenly announces, standing back up. He heads towards a plastic bag on the ground, sitting by Namjoon's feet. It takes Seokjin a moment to realize that it's the clothes he must've worn to the hospital - or at least the jacket he had on.

Yoongi opens up the bag, pulling out a disposable glove from his jacket pocket and putting it on before he digs through the bag, fishing into Seokjin's coat pocket and pulling something else. Seokjin can't tell what it is until Yoongi pulls out an evidence bag to plop it into.

"An earring?" Seokjin doesn't wear earrings too often, and certainly anything that dangly while he's on the job. It doesn't look like anything Namjoon would wear either, but at the same time, the earring looks familiar.

Then it hits Seokjin. "Wait, isn't that Jiyeon's earring?" Had it somehow got caught in Seokjin's pocket during the whole situation? He didn't think any of their interactions had been that rough, and if he recalled properly, Jiyeon hadn't even been wearing the earrings during that time.

"I was promised a copy of the audio recording if I returned the earring to them," Yoongi says, stuffing the bag into his pocket. He grins when Seokjin's realization becomes more evident on his face.

"Oh no," Seokjin whispers. "Please tell me that you couldn't hear on the inside of the car."

Yoongi laughs, and oh god , it's a good thing that Yoongi's laugh is cute. It reminds Seokjin of the one time he watched his old roommate's cat for a week, and every time the cat knocked something off a high surface and Seokjin wanted to scream, the cat simply meowed at him until Seokjin had no option but to forgive the cat. Right now, Yoongi is meowing at him.

"I had no idea until I handed over the audio for Jimin and Taehyung to listen to," Yoongi says, laughing even louder when Seokjin starts to sink into the bedsheets, hoping the ground will take him and the bed and swallow them whole. "It was pretty cute, hyung. I think I heard Jimin scream from downstairs all the way up in my office."

"I didn't say anything ," Seokjin whines, glancing over at Namjoon. He's still snoring quietly, and Seokjin wonders how tired he must be to be sleeping through all the ruckus. It's cute, and Seokjin unwillingly thinks about how much he loves Namjoon. Damn it.

"Have you talked to him about it yet?" Yoongi asks, glancing at Seokjin and Namjoon's intertwined hands. "It looks like you have."

Seokjin stares at Yoongi, and Yoongi groans.

"Oh, of course you haven't. I don't know why I expected anything else from you two."

"He hasn't woken up yet," Seokjin hisses in defense, pouting at Yoongi.

"So you'll talk to him about it when he wakes up."

"Absolutely not. I don't even know what you're talking about," Seokjin grumbles. He hasn't thought of a plan past Namjoon waking up. He wonders if he can just do the same act he's been doing since he met Namjoon, where he blissfully pretends that no one is aware of how bad Seokjin is at concealing his feelings.

Yoongi sighs. "I hate you. Both of you."

Seokjin sticks his tongue out again. "Now tell me more about this earring. You aren't telling me that Jiyeon wasn't really a bad guy, are you?"

Yoongi shrugs. "I've been requested by their agency that I don't share too many details outside of the case. But they had their own investigation ongoing that happened to align with the event. And if it makes you feel better, their team didn't realize you two weren't actually Deimos and Phobos until the very end."

"Wait," Seokjin says. "Were they the ones who had planted bugs in our hotel room?"

Yoongi nods. "I was able to get a hold of their reports on the room as well. So far my favorite notes include 'horny fuckers' and 'grossly in love'."

Seokjin looks at Yoongi with wide eyes. "You're joking."

"Yeah, but it sounds pretty believable, doesn't it?"

It does sound pretty believable, but Seokjin doesn't admit to that. Instead, he changes the subject. "So what was the deal with our bad guy? Please tell me his name was actually Robert."

Yoongi snorts. "According to his American birth certificate, his name was Robert Park." He rolls his eyes when Seokjin wiggles giddly in celebration of his first win of the day. "And like he told you guys, his entire family was involved in the drug dealing case we had sent you and Namjoon to. We're still trying to figure out how he managed to track you both back to Korea and to the event, but I'm sure that'll be revealed in time."

Seokjin nods. "So he was responsible for Mr. Oh's death, right?

"And Hitman Bang's," Yoongi says, which is definitely a surprise to Seokjin. He had definitely thought that Mr. Oh had been behind Hitman Bang's death, but when he considers it, it makes a lot more sense for a third party to be responsible for his death rather than the person who had already paid money for him to do a job. "He's gone ahead and admitted to both crimes, so we don't have to worry too much about the evidence."

"Well, that's good," Seokjin says, licking his lips. "I don't think I'm very interested in going back to the case to investigate." He looks at Namjoon again. His lips are parted, and even though there's a little trail of drool running down the corner of his mouth, Seokjin thinks he'd really like to kiss Namjoon, and he even leans forward a little to do so - before remembering he can't. "It's about time we moved on from it, don't you think?"

"If you wanted to," Yoongi says, hopping off the bed and standing up. "But I don't really feel like that's the case. For either of you."

Seokjin had been so focused on what he was going to say to Namjoon that he didn't really consider what Namjoon might've been planning to say to him, and somehow, it makes the situation feel even worse. Seokjin's chest feels tight, and with his free hand, he clutches onto the bed sheets.

"Do you think he'll let it slide if I just don't say anything?" Seokjin bites his lip, and thinks about how he should really let go of Namjoon's hand so there's one less thing to ignore when Namjoon wakes up. But that would also require Seokjin letting go of Namjoon's hand, and Seokjin thinks that if Namjoon's going to continue sleeping, perhaps Seokjin can indulge himself, as if he's the one dreaming instead of Namjoon. "I mean, it's Namjoon. He doesn't like to stir up trouble if he doesn't have to."

Yoongi rolls his eyes. "No, that's you, hyung."

Seokjin wrinkles his nose, even though he knows Yoongi's right. Even if Seokjin tried to pretend nothing was wrong, Namjoon knows him too well - he'd know that something was wrong. Seokjin wonders if it was self-destructive, to let Namjoon see the bits and pieces of Seokjin's heart throughout the years, an attempt on Seokjin's half of keeping Namjoon even closer. The less walls between them, the less distance, and all Seokjin wants is for Namjoon to be by his side. But the closer to Seokjin's side Namjoon is, the harder it is to hide the few bits and pieces of Seokjin's heart that he can't let Namjoon see.

"I think you're worrying about it too much," Yoongi says finally, after a few moments of Seokjin not responding. He gently places a hand on Seokjin's shoulder. "I've got to go pick up Hoseok for dinner now, but text me when you're discharged and at home, okay?"

Seokjin raises an eyebrow. "You and Hoseok are going to dinner? Together? Just the two of you?"

This time, Yoongi's the one to turn pink, shoving his hands in his pockets and tucking his chin in. "Look, not all of us can wait until a life-or-death situation to figure out how we want to live our love." He bites his lips. "So I've chosen a nice restaurant downtown instead."

"Oh." Seokjin can't help but grin. "That's good."

Yoongi winces. "Wish me luck?"

"I always am, Yoongi-ah."

Yoongi relaxes. "Good. Now don't take it back now, okay?"

Seokjin doesn't understand what Yoongi means until Yoongi's soft smile turns into a mischievous one, and Seokjin doesn't even have time to stop him once he realizes Yoongi's leaning over and shaking Namjoon's shoulder. "Wake up, Namjoon-ah."

Yoongi darts out of the room, the echo of his giggles following behind him, and Seokjin would chase after him if he didn't have a much bigger problem of Namjoon waking up next to him, blinking blindly at the wall as he stretches his free arm, mouth opening into a wide yawn.

Seokjin's frozen, and all he can do is watch as Namjoon slowly wakes up, extended arm coming back down to rub away from the sleep from his eyes, and finally he looks at Seokjin while wearing a soft smile.

"Good morning," Namjoon mumbles, voice low and groggy from sleep. Seokjin can feel his face warm up. Especially when he thinks about the multiple times he's woken up to the same voice this past week, except the last few times they were sharing a bed and Namjoon had been holding him as if he had no intentions of letting go.

The butterflies in Seokjin's stomach disappear, squashed by the sinking sensation slowly kicking in.

"It's not morning," Is what Seokjin manages, voice far quieter than it was when he was talking with Yoongi just minutes earlier.

Namjoon blinks, lips pouting ever so slightly and has Seokjin melting into the bedsheets because fuck . Namjoon's cute. Really cute. Seokjin almost feels bad about correcting him.

"I guess that makes more sense," Namjoon says, eyes wandering the room until he can find a clock. "I don't think they let visitors in for you until the afternoon."

Seokjin vaguely remembers getting checked in the night before, but most of the time had been spent drifting in and out of sleep. He had talked on the phone to Yoongi once in the morning, so he knew Namjoon had been discharged by that point, but it hadn't clarified any more of the situation than that.

Seokjin frowns. "Namjoon, did you even go home?"

Namjoon smiles sheepishly, tucking his chin in. Cute. "I didn't think it was worth the drive home just to come back."

Seokjin tries to keep his voice even. "You didn't have to come back. I'll probably be going home in a few hours anyway."

Namjoon shakes his head. "I couldn't just leave you hyung." He falters, and suddenly his gaze falls down to where Seokjin and Namjoon are still holding hands. Seokjin's instinct is to pull away his hand, and he's waiting for Namjoon to do the same - but instead, Namjoon's grip on Seokjin's hand tightens, and the way Namjoon squeezes Seokjin's hand feels like he's actually squeezing Seokjin's heart.

Seokjin has a bad feeling that Namjoon's words have stopped because he's trying to think about how to bring up what Seokjin (may or may not have) said in the car before launching Namjoon out. Namjoon looks lost, lips pursed and brows furrowed. His grip on Seokjin's hand grows even tighter, and Seokjin can't breath.

"Well, Yoongi didn't have any problems leaving!" Seokjin jokes, forcing himself to laugh. "In fact, he ran off to go have a date with Hoseok."

Namjoon's eyes widen. "No way."

Seokjin sighs quietly in relief. At least for now he's changed the subject. "How do you think Hoseok's going to react?"

"Wait, does Hoseok not realize it's a date?"

Seokjin shakes his head. "Not from the way Yoongi said it."

"What exactly did Yoongi say?"

Seokjin almost makes the mistake of quoting Yoongi word for word, and his lips part only to immediately come back together because now that Namjoon is awake, Seokjin is going to do everything he can to avoid any mentions of the thing . Instead, he keeps his fingers crossed underneath the bed sheets that Namjoon won't decide to bring it up himself, and says, "He sounded pretty nervous. It sounded like he was definitely going to break the news to Hoseok once he got there."

Namjoon smiles, and Seokjin is glad Namjoon is holding onto his hand that isn't trapped beneath the bedsheets, because certainly if Namjoon wasn't holding him back, there would be nothing to stop Seokjin from reaching forward and poking Namjoon's dimple.

"Well, that's exciting for them," Namjoon says. "I hope their conversation goes well." And even though Namjoon is obviously talking about Yoongi and Hoseok, Namjoon's gaze lingers on Seokjin in a way that has Seokjin wondering if Namjoon's not only talking about Yoongi and Hoseok. Namjoon is hoping Seokjin and Namjoon's conversation about the thing goes well, and Seokjin is hoping the conversation doesn't happen at all, because that's the only way he can see it ending well.

"Yeah," Seokjin says, wanting to run away from Namjoon's gaze. Even though Namjoon is only holding his hand, the way Namjoon looks at Seokjin makes him feel like he's surrounded by Namjoon, not too different from when Namjoon actually freely put his hands on Seokjin.

"Yeah," Namjoon echoes back, just as breathless as Seokjin. And then he's leaning closer to Seokjin, and Seokjin just lays there, wondering what Namjoon needs to tell him, when the nurse comes back into the room followed by the doctor, and Namjoon sits back up in his chair.

"Hey, the doctor is here to check on your wound, and then if he says it looks good, he'll put the order in for your discharge and we can start working on sending you home," the nurse says, shutting the door closed behind her. "Are you okay with your guest being here while we talk about your medical details?"

Namjoon looks at Seokjin hesitantly, like he's waiting for Seokjin to kick him out of the room. Which would be a great start to the beginning of Seokjin's Escape From Confronting Namjoon Plan, but Seokjin agrees to letting Namjoon be there before he can even stop the words coming out from his mouth.

The nurse hums in approval. "Alright. Once the doctor takes a look underneath the bandages, we'll go ahead and change the dressing out, and I'll show you how to do it." She looks over at Namjoon. "Due to the location, I recommend having someone else change it for him. Are you going to be the person helping him out at home?"

Seokjin's eyes widen and he feels his face heating up, because there's something incredibly intimate sounding about Namjoon being the one taking care of Seokjin at home , and he's too flabbergasted to protest when Namjoon tells the nurse, yes, he'll be the one helping out.

While the nurse goes to chart something on the computer, the doctor has Namjoon move so that he can look at Seokjin's arm, and Seokjin tries not to chase after Namjoon's hand when he's forced to let go. He wonders if he can convince Namjoon to hold his hand again while the doctor examines the wound.

"Well, the biggest concern while we wait for it to heal is to avoid infection," the doctor says once he's satisfied with his inspection. "As long as you keep the dressing clean and don't anything crazy, it should all heal up fine over time."

The doctor asks Seokjin if he has any questions he can answer while he's there, but quite frankly, Seokjin is too tired to care. He's sure that there'll be a decent amount of scarring left behind just from the feeling of his arm, still aching even with the pain killers. He hasn't actually tried looking yet though, and he thinks it might be okay to keep it that way.

"Alright, I'll show you how to put the dressing on, and then I'll have you do it to show me that you actually understand," the nurse says, grabbing supplies and putting them on a table that she pulls over to the side of the injury. "It's nothing too crazy. Mostly, like the doctor said, your concern is making sure everything stays clean."

The nurse shows Namjoon what to do, and realistically Seokjin should be paying more attention to what she's saying so he can help Namjoon out later if he needs to. But even more realistically, Seokjin's head goes empty the moment the nurse starts asking Namjoon about his relationship to Seokjin, and he stops listening just as Namjoon starts saying, "Uhhh."

Namjoon must do an okay job at changing the dressing, because the nurse seems pleased and tells them that she'll go and work on the discharge paperwork now so they can leave before it gets too late.

"Why don't you head home?" Seokjin says, glancing at the clock. He hates keeping Namjoon here so late. "I'll just catch a taxi home or something. I'm assuming all my luggage from the case is already at my apartment?"

"Hyung, I'm not letting you take a taxi home," Namjoon says, almost pouting. "I got Jimin and Taehyung to drop my car off for me along with my keys, so we're ready to go whenever they say you're good to leave."

Seokjin's heart flips in his chest. "You didn't have to do that."

"Hyung, don't worry about it," Namjoon says. He doesn't sit back down in the chair that's been pushed to the corner of the room, but he still stands at Seokjin's side, and Seokjin is thankful the nurse is no longer listening to his heart, for she would hear how fast it beats when Namjoon once again takes Seokjin's hand within his. Maybe Namjoon doesn't even realize he's doing it, and it's become a habit of his after being undercover for a week. A habit that is certainly going to break Seokjin's heart.

"I worry about a lot of things," Seokjin says. He worries about how his relationship with Namjoon is going to change. He worries about how he's going to properly do his job if things become too awkward with Namjoon. "Like, I worry about you driving us home. When's the last time you drove?"

Namjoon grins despite the jab, probably happy that Seokjin is no longer protesting the ride home. "Stop acting like I don't drive just because you never let me drive during work."

Seokjin laughs, sincerely. "There's a reason why I'm the one who's always driving, Namjoon-ah."

"Yeah, because you won't let me drive!"

Seokjin laughs again, and even though Namjoon pretends be upset for a second, he cracks and laughs quietly along with Seokjin, and for a moment, it feels like nothing has changed at all.

Maybe Seokjin doesn't need to worry.

 

+++

 

The ride back to Seokjin's apartment is quiet. The city's traffic has already started to slow down, and the hospital must've drained Seokjin more than he thought, because he drifts in and out of sleep the entire car ride home. Namjoon doesn't force Seokjin to talk, opting to turn on the radio on low, soft melodies hitting Seokjin's ears.

Maybe Seokjin has fantasized a thousand times over the different kinds of ways he could come home with Namjoon. The majority of the scenarios that played out in Seokjin's head were nothing appropriate, especially nothing appropriate to be thinking about his work partner. Some of them involved Namjoon's hands on his body, pushing him against the nearest wall and kissing him senseless. Some of them were just Seokjin coming home from a long day at work with a shoulder to lean on.

This isn't quite like any of the scenarios Seokjin has ever pictured. It's not steamy, but it's not soft; it's calm. Namjoon has the key to Seokjin's apartment, something Seokjin vaguely remembers drunkenly handing to Namjoon once upon a time. He opens the door for Seokjin, and Seokjin thinks if he closes his eyes, he can keep pretending like he has been for the past week.

"Are you hungry?" Namjoon asks, setting his bag down and pulling out his cellphone. "Why don't I call something for takeout? I'm honestly starving."

Seokjin blinks. "Are you staying?"

Namjoon isn't bothered by Seokjin's question, still looking at his phone. Seokjin can barely see the webpage of the chicken place nearby on Namjoon's screen.

"How much do you think you'll eat?" Namjoon asks, scrolling through the online menu. "I mean, there's nothing wrong with leftovers, right? I doubt you'll feel like cooking for a couple days at least."

"Uh." Seokjin is hungry, but he's so unarmed from the fact that Namjoon has revealed that he's staying (for an undetermined amount of time that makes Seokjin's heart pound) that he doesn't know that his appetite is enough to motivate him to eat.

Namjoon looks up from his phone, frowning. "Are you too tired to eat? Did you want to shower first?"

Seokjin hums. He should eat. He also should shower. Eating means sitting down with Namjoon and risk Namjoon bringing up Seokjin's One Moment of Weakness, but if Seokjin gets into a shower right now knowing that Namjoon is just in the room next door, he's going to think about the time where he was in the shower and Namjoon wasn't just in the room next door, but in the shower next to Seokjin. And while Seokjin is trying to recover from the fact that he's going to have to go back to a normal relationship with Namjoon, such thoughts lead down a dangerous pathway.

Seokjin continues to stare blankly at Namjoon, and Namjoon laughs.

"How about we just get you in bed, hyung?"

Maybe that's what Seokjin needs the most right now. His thoughts are processing slowly, and it's not helping him at all. The hospital certainly isn't the best place to get proper rest.

But neither is a bed that doesn't have Namjoon in it.

"I'll go shower if you want to order food," Seokjin says after another moment, running his hand through his hair. Greasy. The shower is definitely the right move. "Uh, my wallet should be somewhere. If you want, feel free to put my stuff away."

Seokjin expects Namjoon to whine about how Seokjin is forcing him to put stuff away (which always results in Namjoon putting said things away), Namjoon simply nods. He doesn’t look for Seokjin’s wallet though, which is annoying, but he shoos Seokjin off to the shower as he calls the place for delivery.

Seokjin hears the doorbell while he's still in the shower. For the most part, he's just been standing in the water, long done with washing but not quite brave enough to leave the warmth of the water pouring down on him. He can hear hints of Namjoon talking to the delivery person at the door, and Seokjin takes a deep breath before he cranks the shower temperature in the opposite direction, and less than a minute later the water is freezing cold and Seokjin jumps out of the shower a few seconds later.

Seokjin runs from the bathroom to his bedroom, and is happy to find that his luggage from the case has already been put in there. It looks like Namjoon attempted to start sorting through what was there, but the reality is that a lot more than not is in need of going into the dirty laundry basket. Only a few items remain in Seokjin’s suitcase, including the fluffy alpaca plushie that Namjoon had won him at the bingo event. Seokjin smiles, excited to add the stuffed animal to his collection; and then he remembers how excited he had been when Namjoon had won it for him - how he had just kissed Namjoon for no good reason - and Seokjin looks away from the plushie and hurries to get dressed.

"How are you-" Namjoon looks at Seokjin walking into the living room, and his eyes fall down to Seokjin's clothes. Seokjin realizes his mistake only a moment later; he had been so careful sorting out Namjoon's clothes when they had been leaving the hotel, that he had forgotten that his own closet at home is already full of Namjoon’s clothes.

Namjoon swallows after looking Seokjin up and down. All Seokjin can do is helplessly stand in front of Namjoon, because there's no way to deny that the reason that Seokjin owns any of Namjoon's clothes is because he's stolen them in the first place. Over the years, Seokjin has happily taken Namjoon's clothes; and not just to annoy him like Namjoon was so convinced the reason was (which is only partially true). Now Seokjin is wearing Namjoon's clothes, and because Seokjin Royally Fucked Up and now Namjoon knows that the real reason Seokjin likes wearing Namjoon's clothes is because he's stupidly in love with him.

"How are you feeling?" Namjoon asks again. He licks his lips. "Are you feeling up to eating?"

Seokjin doesn't feel up to eating now, but he nods anyway, taking a seat at the table either way. The food smells good, and the more Seokjin stares at the food, the more he can temporarily forget about his other problems and focus on something much better: eating.

The nice thing about food is that Seokjin doesn't have to worry about talking if his mouth is shoved full of food. Namjoon is kind enough to stop trying to ask too many questions when he realizes every time he waits for an answer from Seokjin, his mouth is full.

And then they finish eating, and Seokjin is somehow guided to his bedroom without further thought. He can see the alarm clock by his bed, and he glances back at Namjoon. It's getting late, and he doesn't want to know what Namjoon's plan is, but he also needs to know. If Namjoon asks if he can crash at Seokjin's place for the night, Seokjin will have to prepare to sleep on the couch for the night because there's no way he can let Namjoon take the couch; he deserves better than that.

"Hey, let me look at the bandaging on your arm. I want to make sure it didn't get all funky while you were in the shower," Namjoon says once Seokjin sits down on his bed. He doesn't bother tucking himself underneath the covers yet, positioning himself on the edge of the bed so Namjoon can roll up Seokjin's pajamas sleeves and examine the bandaging.

"How's it look?" Seokjin asks, trying not to freak out over how Namjoon's hands linger against Seokjin's skin. "I hope I didn't fuck it up in the shower."

Namjoon shakes his head. "It looks fine. The nurse said I shouldn't change it unless it becomes visibly soiled from the outside, and it looks fine." He wrinkles his nose. "I'm sorry you got hurt, hyung."

Namjoon gently holds Seokjin's arm, not letting go despite the fact that he's clearly done looking at the bandage. "Does it hurt a lot? They sent you home with some pain killers, and I think you're able to take them now if you wanted to."

Seokjin shakes his head. "It's fine for now. I don't think it hurts too much when I'm not moving my arm." Seokjin looks over at Namjoon, who's wearing short sleeves which do nothing to hide the multiple bandages covering his arms. They're smaller than the one Seokjin has, and from what Seokjin can see, most of what covers Namjoon's arm are little scratches and red patches from what's most likely road rash. "What about you? I'm sorry you got so beat up. I thought I was doing you a favor."

"Hyung, Yoongi showed me pictures of the car we were in. With how many bullet holes there were, it's amazing that you were only hit once," Namjoon says. "I just wish you would've jumped out of the car with me."

Seokjin wrinkles his nose. "It doesn't look like I did much good. You're all beat up."

Namjoon quietly laughs. "Well, I don't think it's very realistic to jump out of a speeding car and not expect any injuries. The doctor told me I was lucky to not have broken bones." Namjoon pauses, biting his lower lip. He glances at Seokjin, like he's just about to read what he's thinking - which must not work very well for Namjoon, because Seokjin is confident that his head is completely empty at the moment and there's nothing for Namjoon to read.

"It wasn't very fun, you know?"

Seokjin tilts his head. "What are you talking about?"

"You asked in the car, remember? To tell you if jumping out of a moving car would be as fun as you thought it would be." Namjoon shakes his head. "It definitely wasn't fun. Not even a little bit."

Seokjin laughs, recalling his small request, all based on thoughts he had just the week before. "Are you sure? I won't lie, I'm a bit disappointed by your answer."

Namjoon rolls his eyes, but he's still smiling. "I'm just glad I was able to tell you." His smile drops, and his gaze falls downward. "I wasn't sure, you know? If I'd be able to.” He finally stops touching Seokjin’s arm, but only for his hand to fall down and rest on Seokjin’s thighs.

"I didn't know if I was going to see you again, so I wanted to make sure I told you as soon as I could. Since you asked," Namjoon says, and his fingers press into Seokjin's thigh. Namjoon lips press into a tight line.

"And there's something else you said in the car."

Oh fuck .

"Did I say something else?" Seokjin asks, laughing nervously. He turns his head away from Namjoon, but he can still feel Namjoon's gaze burning into his skin. His whole face burns, actually, and for someone who can confidently brag about his acting skills on any other day, Seokjin knows he's not hiding anything.

"Hyung," Namjoon says, almost a whine. Namjoon's hand finds Seokjin's cheek, gently tilting his head back to face Namjoon. Namjoon looks determined, brows furrowed and lips pressed together in a way that reveal his dimple. Damn it . "Hyung, you definitely said something else." His hand stays, cupping Seokjin's face. "I think it was something really important."

"I have no idea what you're talking about," Seokjin says, words spilling out of his mouth rapidly, as if he talks faster the conversation will move on faster. Except the conversation isn't moving on, and Namjoon leans in closer to Seokjin.

"Can you say it again?" Namjoon asks, bringing his other hand to cup Seokjin's face, so he has a hand on either cheek. The pads of his fingers press lightly against Seokjin's burning skin. "Hyung, I need you to say it one more time."

Seokjin shakes his head, or at least as much as he can within Namjoon's grip. "Nope. I think you're making things up Namjoon. I don't think I said anything important."

Namjoon frowns. "Hyung, it was really important to me. Please say it again."

"Fine!" Seokjin squeeks. He knows his face is bright red, and he doesn't know if he's going to make it another moment without exploding.

"I said, I love you , Namjoon-ah."

And then, Seokjin is being kissed.

Namjoon has kissed Seokjin multiple times at this point; Seokjin doesn't think he'll ever get used to it. He remembers the first time, at the airport, where Namjoon had caught him by complete surprise, and Seokjin had been terrified that he had heard Seokjin's entire conversation with Jimin on the phone. Because Seokjin was in love with Namjoon, and he wasn't sure how to look like he was acting being in love rather than just being in love with Namjoon. Namjoon had kissed Seokjin, showing him that he was plenty capable of acting , and Seokjin was forced to pretend he was too.

The next time, Seokjin was the one to kiss Namjoon. Now that Seokjin thinks about it, it feels like nothing, compared to confessing. But at the time, Seokjin hadn't even been thinking, the closest thing to an accident a kiss like that could be. He had thought it would be the biggest mistake he would ever make, and that Namjoon would hate him for it. Seokjin had kissed Namjoon because he thought it was dumb to hold back when they lived such risky lives. It was a decision Seokjin would immediately regret, but that regret had quickly been washed away momentarily when Namjoon had kissed him back, and it had all ended in Seokjin deciding that at least for the week, while they were undercover, Seokjin could be a little selfish and indulge in being allowed to be in love with Namjoon.

There’s been so many kisses, more than Seokjin would’ve ever imagined, and Seokjin never pictured them leaving the case, something that would just fade into a bittersweet memory when recalled.

Namjoon kisses him softly, never letting go of Seokjin as he presses their lips together. Seokjin doesn’t even realize he’s kissing Namjoon back until Namjoon groans, tilting his head and deepening the kiss, pushing Seokjin back on the bed so that Namjoon leans over him.

Namjoon pulls away, and Seokjin is left to look upward at him. Seokjin blinks, lips still parted in shock as Namjoon grins down at him, eyes disappearing into his smile.

“I love you, hyung,” Namjoon says, much louder, much bolder than how Seokjin had said it. “I love you so, so much.”

“You’re messing with me,” Seokjin whispers, internally trying to squash the hope that’s blossoming in his chest, ready to burst free. “You can’t be serious.” Seokjin must be hearing things, right? Misinterpreting the scene in front of him, right? It wouldn’t be the first time.

Seokjin remembers the first week of knowing Namjoon. Seokjin's relationship with his boyfriend had already been fading, and judging by his boyfriend's reaction when Seokjin declared that he thought it would be best if they broke up, both Seokjin and his boyfriend were aware of their dying relationship. It had been an easy cutoff, maybe the easiest part of Seokjin's crush on Namjoon.

And Seokjin had been so brave, a lot younger and still overly-confident and he had thought that maybe, Namjoon liked him back. Seokjin had been so wrapped up in his pounding his heart around Namjoon that he hadn't considered that the sounds of a loud, nervous heartbeat had only been from him, and Namjoon's heart beat only normally for Seokjin. Seokjin got to find out the hard way, years ago, listening to Namjoon clearly tell Hoseok that he wasn't interested in Seokjin - and Seokjin was shocked to find that his broken heart still was able to beat so rapidly around Namjoon afterward.

So Seokjin had tucked that hope away, like keeping a lemon away from an open cut, Seokjin kept away his hope from his broken heart. Except suddenly Seokjin was thrown into the undercover mission with Namjoon, and he was stuck in a field full of lemon trees, and he knew that it was going to sting. Except Seokjin had decided that in a field full of lemons, it was okay to hold onto his hope, and slowly, Seokjin began to collect so much hope that it was impossible not to carry it close to his heart. Maybe Namjoon did feel the same as Seokjin. Maybe between all the kisses, the tender touches and gentle words, Namjoon loved Seokjin back.

But then just like years ago when Seokjin had run into Namjoon and Hoseok talking about Seokjin, Hoseok was there again, talking to Namjoon at the scene of the crime, and while Seokjin couldn’t hear a word, he could see their facial expressions. Hoseok’s tenseness. Hoseok knew how Seokjin felt, and Hoseok had glared at Seokjin for being dumb enough to hold any hope. So Seokjin had let go of the hope, finally stopped believing that Namjoon loved him back, and had decided that he would just have to learn to go back to acting normal around Namjoon after the case ended.

And then Seokjin confessed in the car, and he had stopped all chances of going back to normal. Seokjin had been dumb enough to say I love you , and there was no way he was allowed to expect Namjoon to say it back.

Right ?

“Why would you think that?” Namjoon asks, pressing their foreheads together. “I honestly thought you knew.”

“Knew? Namjoon, how was I supposed to know?” Seokjin finally finds the courage to reach for Namjoon, settling for wrapping his arms around Namjoon’s neck. “I still don’t know how I’m supposed to know.”

Namjoon frowns. “Because I’m telling you. I love you.”

Seokjin shakes his head. “You said that while we were undercover too.”

“And I was in love with you then as well!”

"What do you mean?" Seokjin asks, clutching at Namjoon. He holds onto him and the words he's saying, because he can't handle if they escape from him, if he has to let go. "Namjoon, I don't know what you're saying."

"I've been in love with you since the day I met you," Namjoon says. He laughs quietly, cheeks flushed. "I've been so in love with you, and I never thought I could tell you." He kisses Seokjin again, briefly, but as he continues to talk his lips brush against Seokjin's. "So if you would say that you love me, I'd be so, so happy."

Seokjin pulls away from Namjoon, so he can properly look at him. Namjoon's eyes practically shine, and Seokjin realizes that Namjoon's tearing up, eyes watering. Seokjin doesn't think he must be any better, because Namjoon's words are finally hitting him. Namjoon's in love with him, and despite the words crashing down on him, Seokjin doesn't feel weighed down; he feels lighter than ever, like he would float off the bed if Namjoon wasn't holding him down, keeping him next to him, just where Seokjin wants to be.

"I love you," Seokjin says quietly, refusing to shy away from looking Namjoon in the eye. He swallows, and repeats louder, "I love you, Namjoon-ah. I've loved you for a really long time, actually."

For years, Seokjin imagined how life would be if he never fell in love with Namjoon. He would imagine how much easier his life would be, how less painful being at Namjoon's side would be, if he hadn't made the mistake of falling in love with Namjoon. He thinks about the tears he's shed, the way his heart would clench in his chest. For years, Seokjin has been in love with Namjoon, and for years, Seokjin has been hurting over it.

As Namjoon kisses him, mumbling little I love you 's against Seokjin's lips, Seokjin knows what he's known for a long time - despite the waiting, despite thinking it was unrequited, despite the pain: Seokjin is in love with Namjoon.

And he wouldn't have it any other way.

 

+++

 

On Seokjin’s first day back to work, he arrives at the office to find Namjoon sitting at his desk.

 

"That's not your seat," Seokjin says, noting the two cups of coffee on the desk. He walks over, and picks one up without even asking. Namjoon keeps typing away at Seokjin's computer, not even looking up when Seokjin takes a seat on top of the desk.

"Hey. I finally show up to work on time, and this is the reward I get?" Seokjin teases, poking at Namjoon. Namjoon's attempt to maintain a passive face fades, jaw tensing the more Seokjin pokes at him. "Is this some kind of revenge for the past few years? I have to say, Namjoon-ah, that's kind of hot."

Namjoon snorts. "Maybe it is."

Jimin chimes in, "He spilled coffee all over his keyboard, so he's waiting for the tech team to come replace his keyboard."

Namjoon finally looks up, glaring at Jimin. "Hey, I barely spilled anything! If anything, the keyboard was probably already ready to die."

Seokjin stifles a laugh, smiling against his coffee cup as he takes a sip. He thinks about the multiple times he's spilled drinks on Namjoon's computer while sitting at his desk. He probably has something to do with the unfortunate passing away of Namjoon's keyboard, but he's definitely not going to say that. Instead, he happily watches Jimin continue to make fun of Namjoon while Namjoon grumbles. He still doesn't move from Seokjin's desk.

"Namjoon. Please. My phone is still charging and I need to check Twitter. Go steal Taehyung's desk if you need a computer."

"But isn't this more fun?" Namjoon asks, looking at Seokjin. He smiles, dimples and everything, and Seokjin thinks that he's in love. "Besides, Taehyung should be back any moment. I think he's with Yoongi to go get the debrief on the next case."

Seokjin shouldn't be smiling at the inconvenience, but he can't help it; he's happy. He reaches over his desk to grab the white board with everyone's names on it. Jimin must've been messing with it while Seokjin was gone, because currently Jimin's name is the only one with stars next to it, sloppily drawn on there all the way to the border of the whiteboard. Taehyung's name has a frowny face next to it - also Jimin's doing, Seokjin assumes - and Seokjin laughs before deciding that he'll keep the evidence until he gets a chance to ask about it later.

He does, however, get more distracted by the fact that Namjoon's name has more hearts by it than ever. Seokjin remembers the first time he had subconsciously drawn hearts around Namjoon's name, not even thinking about what he was doing until Namjoon had come up behind him and seen it, and Seokjin thought he was screwed. Instead, Namjoon had rolled his eyes, probably assuming that Seokjin was messing with him - and it felt like one of Seokjin's first wins, being able to openly show some sort of love Namjoon - even if Namjoon didn't understand.

(Jimin and the others did though, and he clearly remembers how much shit he got for it when they all saw it).

"I don't think you deserve all these hearts," Seokjin says, showing Namjoon the whiteboard. "Jimin was far too kind to add all these hearts when you definitely don't deserve it."

"Hey, I didn't draw any hearts," Jimin says. He's sitting at his own desk, but his feet are propped up on the table and Seokjin isn't sure if his computer is even turned on. "But hey, do I get a reward for all my stars? Like, would you buy me lunch?"

Seokjin laughs, promising Jimin he'd take him out for lunch sometime for his good work, before processing the first half of Jimin's response.

"You didn't draw the extra hearts? I definitely didn't draw this many," Seokjin says, and he looks at Namjoon to see if he has any ideas (perhaps Taehyung or Yoongi? Maybe Hoseok?) but instead of the face of someone who's ready to share his thoughts, he finds Namjoon cupping the back of his neck, eyes casted downward while the corners of his pursed lips tilt upwards. His cheeks are colored pink.

"Oh my god," Seokjin says when he puts the pieces together. "You didn't."

Namjoon pouts. "I was bored waiting for you! I didn't even add that many."

"Namjoon, there's like, twice as many now."

"If you don't like them, just erase them," Namjoon grumbles, turning back to the computer. Seokjin laughs when he sees Namjoon continue to scroll through Twitter.

"Never," Seokjin says, pulling the whiteboard away from Namjoon. He draws a star next to Namjoon's name, a thanks for the coffee, and smiles happily at the extra hearts. "Your hearts are all mine now." He pokes Namjoon's chest, right above where his heart is. "Especially this one."

Namjoon rolls his eyes, while Seokjin laughs delightedly at his joke. Except it's not a joke, and Seokjin is in love with Namjoon, and Namjoon is in love with him, and Seokjin is more than happy to say it aloud, over and over again.

Seokjin leans over, with full intentions to kiss Namjoon, and suddenly there's a manilla folder thrown in front of his face.

"Absolutely not," Yoongi says, using the folder to whack Seokjin's face back. Seokjin laughs, already picturing Yoongi's annoyed expression, and he leans back so Yoongi will finally stop whacking him.

"Come on, it was finally getting to the good part," Jimin complains, throwing a crumpled up piece of paper at Yoongi. Or at least, he throws it in Yoongi's direction, but it ends up hitting Namjoon instead, which makes Seokjin laugh even louder.

"Not in my work space," Yoongi says, throwing the folder onto Seokjin's desk once he's confirmed there's an adequate amount of space between Seokjin and Namjoon. "Jimin, I emailed you the files, so can you pull it up?"

 

 "Another case already?" Jimin asks, frowning. "I feel like we've had too many cases. It's nothing crazy, is it?"

"Jimin, you were the one complaining the other day that you felt like there was nothing to do," Yoongi says, looking unimpressed.

"Yeah, but that was while Seokjin and Namjoon were gone! Now we're all back as a team!" Jimin says, and Seokjin smiles. He had taken a couple of weeks off work - involuntarily. Yoongi had insisted Seokjin stayed at home and properly rested.

And, well, there may have been a very clingy person back in Seokjin's bed that convinced him that staying at home one more day couldn't hurt too much.

"Speaking of the team, where's Taehyung?" Seokjin asks, noting that Taehyung hadn't returned with Yoongi. "Bathroom?"

Yoongi shakes his head. "He's busy getting stuff to file for a passport."

Jimin perks up. "Passport? Are we traveling abroad?"

Seokjin groans. "If you tell me we're going back to America, I'm quitting."

"Not America," Yoongi promises, and it's the best thing Seokjin's heard all day. "But yeah, another abroad case. Theft involving taking a plane and trying to run away into another country."

Jimin pulls up the case onto the big screen finally, and his eyes widen.

"France?"

Yoongi nods. "You and Taehyung will be taking lead on this case, so start studying up on your French." He turns to Namjoon and Seokjin. "You two will be going as well, so I hope you weren't getting too comfortable with being at home."

Seokjin was getting comfortable with being home. Currently, home has been between both his apartment and Namjoon's apartment, where the pillow cases all smell like Namjoon's honey-scented shampoo. Home has been at the grocery store, where Seokjin makes a grumbling Namjoon push the cart while Seokjin loads it up with more sweets than he should. Home has been the walks through the park that Namjoon likes to drag Seokjin on no matter what the weather is, where Seokjin and Namjoon casually talk about getting a dog together.

"As long as we're both going, it'll be fine," Seokjin says, subtly reaching over to grab Namjoon's hand.

Home has been where Namjoon is; and it's been that way for years.

The meeting ends with Yoongi discovering Seokjin and Namjoon's intertwined hands and smacking at both of them with the folder, demanding that someone rewinds time and reverts them to being dumb, oblivous idiots.

(Jimin throws another wadded piece of paper at Yoongi and says he'd kill someone if he ever had to deal with that again).

Later on that evening, Seokjin and Namjoon are packing. Seokjin jokes about something that he finds so funny that he starts laughing half way through the sentence, long before Namjoon could ever tell what joke Seokjin's trying to tell, but they're both laughing anyway, collapsed on the floor and lying next to each other.

“Hey, Kim Seokjin,” Namjoon whispers in between giggles, a little breathless. “I really love you.”

Seokjin laughs, rolling towards Namjoon so that he’s resting on top of that. “Remember that for the next time I get us shot at, okay?”

Namjoon shakes his head. “No, I’ll love you then too.” He tilts his head so he can kiss Seokjin, lips lingering as he whispers, “I love you.”

Seokjin smiles.

“I love you too.”