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abduction (and rescue)

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Gaon stirs awake with a groan of pain. The last time he felt like this was when he was still a punk as Soohyun liked to call him, all anger and pain culminating in getting into fights with other guys most of whom were too strong for him to stand a chance. And sure, he got some hits in, but Gaon grew well acquainted with what it felt like to be knocked around. Not caring how knocked around he got meant that more times than not he ended up with injuries that in hindsight he could have avoided, but just didn’t care to do so. 

Judging by how his head is smarting in pain and the trickle of blood he can taste in his mouth, he’s been knocked around quite a bit from what he remembers of that past experience. 

He keeps his eyes closed, trying his best to rotate his shoulders slightly. But he can’t. Furrowing his eyebrows, Gaon tries to just move his wrists instead. He can’t do that either, but does manage to feel the rope rubbing against his wrists as he attempts to move them. 

Great, he’s been tied up. 

Groaning, he opens his eyes to take a quick look around. Thankfully, he’s not blindfolded or gagged like how it goes in dramas when someone ends up abducted. Not that he’s watched many, but it’s always seemed to be a common theme among the ones Soohyun does show him.

It’s an industrial warehouse, of course. Gaon’s tied to a concrete pole rather than being tied to a chair, which at the least gives him the ability to spit. 

He does, the sound of saliva and blood, along with his panting all he can hear in the otherwise silence of the warehouse. Gaon does his best to work his jaw around, feeling the dull pain of being punched, along with a cut on his lip as he runs his tongue over his teeth and lips. He didn’t lose a tooth though, so whoever hit him didn’t hit him hard enough to cause a concussion, he thinks from experience. 

Ugh, he’d so rather be tied up in a chair right now. At least then he could relax. The concrete, on the other hand, is cold and uncomfortable against his back. And his legs are starting to tremble slightly from the way they’re tied together. 

He also just aches, Gaon does, which doesn’t help anything. 

His head, his chest, his stomach. Just everything. 

“Urgh,” he groans out loud, breaking the silence. No sense in hiding being awake from his abductors anyways, he just can hope that someone has noticed him missing in the hours or so and is searching for him. 

Gaon licks the blood away from where it trickles on his lip. Spits on the floor again. Normally in those dramas and movies he’s watched someone stands over the abducted, or at least nearby them to keep an eye on and ensure they didn’t escape. But, apparently, he’s not even worth that effort. 

He’s somewhat hurt by that. He’s pretty sure that Yohan would get someone hovering over him, but to be fair, Yohan doesn’t seem like someone that would get abducted. Gaon moves his head as best as he can. 

Strange, that no one is here. All he can see is just the concrete pillars and steel support of the industrial warehouse he’s tied up in. 

Gaon spits on the concrete again, the faint hint of blood still remaining in his mouth despite doing that.

Ugh. Who knew that being abducted and tied up in a warehouse would be so boring? With no phone, and being unable to see the watch still around his wrist, Gaon has no idea of the time. And it’s passing by so slowly.   

His head lolls to the side as the pounding in one of his temples gets slightly worse.
Sighing, Gaon glances around once more at the empty warehouse and the steel beams around him, before closing his eyes. 

Sure, being tied to the pole is frankly, rather uncomfortable. But short of dislocating his arms, and he’s not even sure if that would work, there’s just no way to get himself untied right now. So why bother, at least right now?

As impatient as he is, Gaon knows a little bit better than to tempt fate, especially if this is in any way shape or form as it is likely to be related to Kang Yohan. 

Rotating his wrists one final time, the motion causing him nothing but a slight burning sensation in his inner wrists as the rope rubs against his skin, Gaon settles in to wait. 

A few hours pass, something that Gaon is only able to tell by the slight movement of a patch of sun coming from somewhere. It’s rather cold in the warehouse now, and Gaon would shiver from the cold if he had the ability to move anywhere.

If they’re trying to bore him to death, it’s working. Even when working or arguing with Yohan, at least something is happening. Gaon, when he was younger and even now, lives for the adrenaline. Jumps head on into it, despite everyone, Soohyun’s really, wishes for him not to. 

He hears the creak of metal, cocking his head slightly to the side at the bootsteps he hears after the fact. Heavy soled boots. Four or more people. 

Gaon keeps his eyes closed as the steps stop in front of him, a cough and scraping of a pipe coming after they do stop. 


And here he was bored. They’re not coming to hold him for ransom, no they want to hurt him. Great.  

Keeping his face slack and eyes closed, Gaon just waits. 

He doesn’t have to wait long either. Only a decade or so of practice in getting hit allows Gaon to absorb the blow that comes to his cheek, his head turning to the side with it as he opens his eyes. 

Blinking he glares hazily up at the one who hit him. They’re all in black, no markings or anything on their clothing, with masks covering their face. Not Bamboo Spear then. 

Gaon’s not entirely sure if that’s a good thing. This is an unknown, which means that threatening them with Yohan’s wrath may not even be a good idea.  

Spitting blood on the ground, he glares at them. Punks they definitely are. And Gaon knows how to deal with punks, he was one himself. And the very first lesson, that he knows all to well, is to hide whatever pain or nerve they’ll try to hit.

So Gaon grins instead, feeling the way the cut on his lip widens at the action, but ignoring the pain. 

They don’t like it, judging by how the ringleader smacks his other cheek even harder. Gaon just grins up at him, shaking it off. “Is that how this is going to go?”

“Yah,” the ringleader calls out and Gaon just keeps smirking. 

“What? Took you long enough, didn’t it?”

They roar in response for a moment, and Gaon, even if he doesn’t believe in God, sends up a prayer. Just, not a punctured lung, that’s all. He can handle a lot, but if a rib cracks and he ends up with a punctured lung, there’s no way he’ll make it if anyone manages to find him in time. 

And dying in the middle of an industrial warehouse is not where he’d like to die, not at all. 

So Gaon just smiles, even as the next punch lands on his face, snapping his head back against the pole again. 

“Beat him.” The ringleader steps back, and Gaon’s eyes widen slightly as the biggest one of them, broad shouldered with a muscular build visible even with the black clothing. Fantastic.  

Being tied up like this means that there’s no way for Gaon to curl in on himself to protect his organs. 

Keeping his jaw relaxed, avoiding any chance of biting on his tongue, Gaon grunts as the first hit from the man’s fist goes to his stomach. It hurts. Goodness, it’s been a bit since Gaon’s actually been punched around. Sure, he’s gotten close to being blown up, and gotten into a few equal fights working with Yohan, but it’s been a while since he’s actually been hit and unable to hit back. 

The next punch to his stomach presses his spine back against the concrete, sending his neck and head back to knock against it. Urgh. He’s not going to like dealing with these bruises in the morning at all. If he makes it to the morning. 

The morbid thought causes him to laugh, even despite the pain in his abdomen. 

One last punch to his stomach causes him to curse as he looks back up at them. The ringleader walks forward again, roughly patting Gaon’s cheek. It’s the condensation in his look that causes Gaon to really get annoyed. 

“What?” he hisses up at him, “no questions?”

 “You’re not that important, Kim Gaon.” The ringleader looks like he’s smirking even through his mask, but Gaon just blinks. He figured as much. Otherwise he wouldn’t just be getting hit around now, or at least hit with some purpose. But it just seems like they’re wailing on him with no purpose to get something out of him, which must mean that they’re doing this on purpose for another reason. 

Great, there’s nothing Gaon wants more than to be used as a pawn for someone to try to get to Yohan. But it does mean they aren’t going to kill him, not that potential maiming is any better really. 

Spitting a glob of blood on the dirty ground, Gaon groans as the ringleader punches him again. 

“Then,” he coughs once, as the blood from the cuts on his lips seem to seep into his mouth, a metallic scent filling his nose and the back of his throat. “Why go through all this for an insignificant little me?” His head slumps down, and Gaon can feel the trickle of blood seeping down the corner of his mouth, and the definite pain that reminds him that his nose has definitely been broken, likely by that last hit

The ringleader just laughs, before gripping at Gaon’s hair, pulling him up so they’re at eye level with one another. 

“Because we need good bait, that’s all. And you’re excellent bait, Left Associate Judge Kim Gaon. The Right Associate would have been even better, but,” the ringleader clicks his tongue. “She rarely leaves her office. Unlike you.”

Gaon thanks whatever force that exists that it’s him here, rather than Jinjoo. They may have grown up similarly poor, but she was a country girl, and despite her fear in the neighborhoods she lived in when she entered Seoul, which Gaon knows well seeing that fear in most of the girls and women he grew up with, she likely has never been beaten like this. Gaon can take a beating. Can take multiple beatings, despite the ache and shooting pains he feels all over now. 

The ringleader’s fist on his hair pulls, and Gaon hears more than feels the final crack as his head hits against the pole he’s tied against. 

Pain shoots up his skull, his eyes close, and then all Gaon sees is black. 

Elijah stares at the mail in her inbox. It just popped up barely a moment ago. 

She doesn’t get unknown emails. The school, her professors, and the few classmates she does group work with, along with a handful of the online websites she visits, that’s everyone she’s ever given out her email to. 

But there’s a restricted email from an unknown address in her inbox now, with no subject line. 

After running a few checks, Elijah opens it. 

Nothing, except an attachment. 

A video. 

She does a malware check, then a virus check, but still nothing. 

It’s just a video. One sent anonymously to her email that no one should have, but just a video all the same. 

Elijah shrugs, staring at the email. Yohan’s somewhere doing something, Gaon went out to grab some groceries and water his plants for whatever reason, saying something about how Soohyun unnie can’t take of them like he can. 

Her homework has been done for a while, so it’s out of pure boredom that Elijah clicks on the video. 

Pressing play, she frowns as it’s just black. Two seconds pass though, and then the black turns to something else. A concrete floor, speckled with dirt and grime. The phone camera, because that’s what it is, Elijah can tell, moves up to display tattered clothing and a man’s body. His head lolls, and that’s when she can tell. 

Elijah’s hand goes to her mouth, even as she continues to watch. A rough hand pulls the hair up, and that’s when she gets her first look at his face. 

It’s Gaon.

The hand pulls him up harder and Elijah recoils from the screen. Gaon’s head is still slack, his nose looks slightly misaligned, and worse of all there's blood. Dripping down his chin, from a cut that she can see that slices across his lips. 

No, not him. 

Her hand trembles as she slams the laptop shut, just as the hand on the screen shakes Gaon’s head and it lolls in his grip again. 

“Yohan,” Elijah calls out, screams. She’s been doing that more often. Relying on her uncle, calling for his help. Against Bamboo Spear earlier, and now here in her own room. “Yohan, Yohan, samchon,” she screams. She hasn’t called him samchon since before the fire. But she can’t get the image out of her head. 

Of Gaon, bloodied, looking half dead on her computer screen. 

Elijah may struggle with trusting him at the best of times, but if there’s one thing that unites the two of them, it’s Gaon. 

And Gaon needs help now. 

She whirls around as the door opens, Yohan looking slightly more disheveled than normal, but she can’t bring herself to care. 

Gaon needs help. 

“E-Elijah,” Yohan stares at her. 

“I-I got something,” she points at her laptop, finger trembling. Yohan walks up to her like she’s a startled cat or something, so Elijah snaps at him. “Just open it.”

He does, cautious, and Elijah winces as the video begins to play again. 

Turns her wheelchair around, not wanting to watch. Elijah’s seen Gaon injured before, but always bandaged up, and something about seeing him get injured now hurts her. Maybe because she cares about him. Because they’re friends. Whatever it is, she can’t watch. 

Yohan can though, and there’s a tinge of gratefulness in her heart that at least he can. 

Elijah’s scream echoed through the house, bouncing off the walls and with it, Yohan felt his heart almost stop. The one place he never expects her to be hurt is the mansion. It’s the reason why he still stays here with her, that he stayed in this place even dealing with the ghosts of his past. 

So hearing her scream ignited a spark of rage and anxiety that he didn’t even know was possible. Maybe it was the lingering anxiety from what the Bamboo Spear did earlier, despite how he sentenced the ringleader. But hearing Elijah’s scream of his name, followed by her calling him samchon , which she hasn’t called him since before the fire, caused him to leave his office at a run. 

Yohan hovers at her door, as she screams one more time. There’s no outside disturbance from what he can see, but it doesn’t stop him from pushing her door open. She’s trembling by her desk as he barges in, a finger pointing at her laptop. 

She’s as strong as he is, most of the time. Stronger even, Yohan thinks to himself sometimes. He won’t admit it, but his voice trembles as he calls her name, “E-Elijah,” he says, staring. 

Her finger still trembles despite his presence. “I-I got something,” she says, and Yohan walks forward like she’s Kkomi, spooked from whatever’s on her laptop. Her voice trembles, but she still snaps at him like there’s nothing wrong, “just open it.”

Yohan walks closer, even as she whirls around once he opens the laptop, clearly unable to look. 

Then he presses play, looking closer at the video. It’s Kim Gaon.  

Kim Gaon, bruised and half beaten, head lolling to the camera. No wonder Elijah is scared. Yohan takes in the injuries, the blood stained chin and cut lip of his left associate judge. His Kim Gaon. 

Yohan watches as Gaon’s eyes lull open once he’s shaken, by the hand pulling on his hair, watches as he squints them open to glance at the camera. 

He looks out of it, dazed. 

Yohan’s felt helpless rarely in his life since ascending to the position he has. Once, in the brief moment he was abducted by Sunah. But it’s nothing compared to how he feels seeing Gaon like this.

Bruised, beaten, and being unable to do anything besides watch. 

He slams a hand on her desk, fist furled as the camera gets closer to Gaon’s cut up face, the hand turning Gaon from side to side, as if inspecting him. 

“Kang Yohan,” whoever it is says, voice causal, as if they haven’t abducted someone that’s his. “You know, your left associate judge is quite a pretty boy. Shame we had to mess his face up a bit.” Yohan grits his teeth as the hand almost caresses Gaon’s face. 

He’s on a hair trigger already, but still doesn’t stop the video as that hand continues to stay on Gaon’s cheek. He’s struck with the sudden urge to cut that hand off. Savors that urge as he continues to watch. 

“Anyways, Kang Yohan, choose. Your judge, or the trial. Let Bamboo Spear go, if not, well you may not see your pretty judge ever again.”

The screen goes black, and Yohan slams his fist on the desk. Fuck. Gaon’s been taken. 

He turns to see Elijah, trembling slightly despite her chin being up, still attempting to be strong in the face of everything. “What?” she snaps, and Yohan takes it to be in concern over Gaon. “Find him and bring him home, Yohan.”

For once, Yohan doesn’t say anything snarky in response. Just nods at her. 

“How did you get this?” he asks, once he’s able to unclench his fist, resting his hand on the desk next to her laptop. 

“My email,” she responds as Yohan closes the video, sending a copy off to K. Despite how dilapidated Seoul’s industrial area is, there is a chance that K could know the general location of where Gaon is, even from just a minute long video. He’ll save the issue that they knew Elijah’s email for another time, not now. 

“Is he-” her voice cracks, for once sounding like the teenager she is and not the adult she tries to be. 

“He’ll be fine,” Yohan promises. It’s all he can promise, but there’s conviction in it. Kim Gaon will be fine.

He simply has to be.

T here’s no other option. 

Gaon feels his head drop again, panting slightly. He was barely conscious through their video, really only gaining consciousness once they started to crow about how they sent it to that Chief Justice’s niece- and oh, how that cut through Gaon, the idea that of all people, Elijah would see it. If it was Yohan-well Yohan can compartmentalize, he knows, but Elijah, well Gaon didn’t really want her to see him like that. 

Not that it matters, what’s done is done. 

All he can do is wait now. 

At least he’s mostly been left alone to bleed out against the pillar, wrists raw from the way the rope is rubbing them now. Not that it means much to Gaon, as he struggles to stay awake. He can’t get knocked out again. 

So instead, he watches through lidded eyes as the four wait. For what, he’s not quite sure. This seems so  amateur really. Demanding something of Yohan and just waiting, as if he’ll give in. Perhaps they’re crazy, that’s Gaon’s only thought. Or just don’t realize how monstrous the Chief can be. 

But that’s good then. 

Because that means he has a chance to be rescued before something happens and he dies in an ignoble death in a warehouse.  

But they turn, his abductors, looking. And that’s when Gaon knows it. Yohan’s arrived. So he watches as they stare in shock, faintly hearing them scream. For what, he’s not quite sure. Mercy? Yohan has none when it comes to things like this, Gaon is well aware of. 

Well, maybe for him he realizes. But not for anyone else. 

Through half-lidded eyes, Gaon watches as he swings a wooden bat in the air, dressed all in black just like his abductors are. 

Watches, barely able to make it out as Yohan methodically knocks them out with a few well placed hits, the muscle crashing to the ground and the ringleader, Gaon notices with satisfaction, screaming before even that comes to a stop. 

Four men, in less than an instant all incapacitated. Gaon needs to have gone to whatever the Kang Yohan school of fighting was, it seems to be rather effective.

The bat clatters to the floor once they are, and Gaon’s eyes widen as best they can, temples pounding as Yohan strides towards him. 

“P-pansa-nim,” he coughs out, voice hoarse. 

“Save your breath,” Yohan calls out, but with the realization that he’s safe, Gaon can barely make the words out. His head is so fuzzy, his temples are pounding, and now that Yohan’s here, he’s safe. So with a sigh, he closes his eyes. 

Gaon ignores the sound of Yohan calling his name in fear, anger, or something else that he can’t name. That can wait. He can rest now.   

He's safe, since Yohan is here. 

All Yohan can think about as Gaon lies in the bed is that Gaon collapsed against the pillar he was tied to as soon as he reached him. 

How frantic he was, untying the knots, pulling him out into the getaway car, leaving K to pick up the ones who thought it would be a good idea to abduct his judge. His Kim Gaon. 

About how once he got to his personal doctor, the man told him that Gaon should be grateful that he didn’t have a broken rib, just bad bruising, a slightly broken nose, and a few cuts and bruises to the face. 

Your left associate judge is quite a pretty boy. Shame we had to mess his face up a bit. The words echo in his head, of his own failures to protect his judge, his Kim Gaon. He’ll make them pay for it later. Those Bamboo Spear supporters that thought abducting his judge would stop the trial.

Never again. No. If Gaon wants to shop, water his plants, whatever, Yohan needs to at the very least know about it. Never again should Gaon get abducted like this. 

He has to laugh though, at the parallel of the night the Foundation sent the bomb in his office off. Sitting by Gaon’s bed this time though, Yohan’s not filled with curiosity, no, but regret.

Because he could have and should have prevented this. Maybe it’s another weakness, to protect Kim Gaon, but Yohan is attached to the man, in more ways than one he’s beginning to realize.

So when Kim Gaon stirs awake after hours of being asleep, Elijah having left the room for bed, Yohan starts. Turns to see him attempting to sit up, wincing in pain. His cheeks are bruised, cheekbones slightly swollen, and lips still cut despite the medicine that Yohan had applied, but he’s still Gaon.

Still Yohan’s partner, associate, and sidekick that sits on his left. 

“Kang pansa-nim?” Gaon groans out. 

He hopes he doesn’t turn to quickly at that, but glances over at Gaon with a considerable amount of relief. “Stay down. No broken ribs, but some bad bruising. How was your first abduction?”

“Terrible service,” Gaon replies, voice light thankfully. “Not going to want to do that again. How did you find me so quickly?”

“They didn’t hide their IP address at all,” Yohan remarks, “not clever, just wanted to make a statement against the court. One they’ll regret,” he continues, a tinge of darkness in his voice. He has plans for those four. K moved them to another location, but Yohan will come to them to teach them a lesson they desperately need to learn. 

No one harms Kim Gaon. Not even him, not anymore. 

“Yohan,” Gaon’s voice breaks the silence. “Come here.”

He holds out his arms, and Gaon gives him a look. “You seemed concerned,” he says lightly. 

And maybe it’s just the stressl, the moment before he untied him where Gaon sagged against the ropes, or a combination of it all, but Yohan goes into it. 

Presses his face, lightly, into Gaon’s neck. “You’re not allowed to get abducted. Consider that an order.”

“I’ll do my best, sir.” Gaon laughs before coughing, and Yohan springs back. Traces his fingers across Gaon’s skin, at the area where that one person did, wanting to erase his touch with Yohan’s.

And Gaon lets him. Lets Yohan trace over his cheekbones, gentle over his bruises. Lets Yohan press closer to him. 

“It’s okay, sir. It’s okay.”

And holding Gaon like he is now, Yohan can let himself be convinced by his Gaon’s honeyed words. For now. But that doesn't mean his abductors aren't going to be in a world of pain, once he can bare to be apart from Gaon for longer than a few minutes. 

(Yohan falls asleep like that, next to Gaon, who is tucked tightly in bed so as to not interrupt his healing process. He sleeps soundly through the night, his first night without a nightmare since the fire. Perhaps Gaon is more magical than he thought. Yohan keeps his hand wrapped around Gaon’s wrist and wants. Like he’s never allowed himself to do before. And when Gaon wakes up, pressing a kiss to his lips once he asks permission, lets himself dream for more than revenge and vengeance for once.)