Prompt Code: C82
Title: Mr. and Mr. Kim
Side Pairings (if any): Baekyeol
Warnings: swearing, roughplay
Word Count: 16,373
Summary: Seoul's best assassins don't know that they're married to each other.
AU: Based on the movie Mr. & Mrs. Smith
AN: Dear prompter, I hope you’ll forgive this lackluster attempt at a Kaisoo rendition of one of my favorite feel good films. Big thank you’s to R and M for being such patient and wonderful betas. Of course, to the tireless, marvelous mods, you guys are champions. Finally, this is for MJ, for putting up with me. I don’t know how you do it, dear.
The erratic clinking of silver on glass resound in the room and Baekhyun stands, a devilish grin on his face as he raises his half empty wine glass and coughs for attention.
“A toast!” He starts, voice carrying to both ends of the long table, “for this dumb and dumber combo on their anniversary!” His gaze flicks to the two seated beside him as chuckles and hollers echo around their friends.
Jongin shakes his head lightly and turns to match a hopeless sort of amusement in his husband’s face. His thumb begins to gently rub over Kyungsoo’s knuckles, just grazing the silver band on the ring finger, their hands resting together on top of his thigh.
Kyungsoo’s still half chewing, a bit of pesto on the corner of his lips and rosy cheeks shifting cutely with the effort. He’s sporting the post-two-glasses-of-wine glow so well, Jongin thinks, and there’s that characteristic lift in his eyes and brows when he is content, devastatingly irresistible. He leans in then, without warning, and licks the spot off his mouth, smiling when he pulls away to see those eyes widen on him.
“Happy sixth anniversary, Soo.” Jongin whispers, closing in for another kiss when, right before they meet, Kyungsoo retorts with,
“Happy fifth anniversary, Jongin.”
Oh well, they can argue about it later. Jongin is still adamant that their one-year engagement counts. Their lips linger, tasting like basil and Pinot and Sunday evenings.
“Please, we just ate.” The forgotten impromptu speechmaker waves his hand around indignantly, faking gagging noises all the while.
Jongin reminds the nearly inebriated hyung that no one asked him to make a toast, but Baekhyun flicks his wrist dismissively, charging onwards, indicting Jongin as a ‘whipped, domesticated puppy’ and Kyungsoo as his ‘dopey, househusband handler’ in his effacing tribute.
He ends with a final, “So let’s raise our glasses to this nauseating couple. May they live long and prosper, and will one day stop subjecting us to their annual public displays of affection!”
They all laugh heartily and drink on cue, as the evening dwindles back into general banter and catching up. It closes, as always, on designating a chaperone to return the intoxicated Baekhyun and Jongdae home in one piece, while the crazier bunch relocate to a karaoke parlor to quote unquote drown their unwed miseries in soju and bad singing.
By the time Kyungsoo and Jongin gets home, it’s just before midnight, with the residual mirth from dinner settling in their stomachs like the delicious pasta. They collapse on the couch, bodies angled so that their legs were tangled together with fingertips touching across the leather surface.
Kyungsoo reaches over to brush a stray bang from Jongin’s eyes.
“I thought we agreed on no celebrations this year.” There was no edge to his tone, all soft and sleepy.
“That was for your birthday.” Jongin inches in closer, their heads together with warm breaths mingling in the still chilly apartment as the heating has yet to work its way through the living room space.
“Hmm. Cheater.” Kyungsoo gives a little peck on his nose as a reward, and Jongin knew that secretly luring him to the fancy Italian place by the river for a surprise anniversary dinner with friends was a good move.
“Ready to open your present?” He gets up, striding across the living room to reach behind the flat screen, and produces a hastily wrapped box, complete with a messily tied red bow.
“Why bother, I already know what it is.” Kyungsoo chuckles, being dragged up by Jongin with a whine and a pout, and Baekhyun’s label of ‘over-zealous puppy’ seems too accurate in this moment.
“But the design is different! Try it on.” He shoves the box in Kyungsoo’s hands and ignores the knowing, resigned twinkle in his eyes.
It’s an apron, of course. The sixth one to the annually growing collection. This time an outrageously adorable cartoon bear, the ears protruding out as cotton flaps, complete with a big pocket on the bear’s belly - the whole thing a brown masterpiece of fluffy charm.
Kyungsoo sighs, unconvincingly longsuffering, as he ties the apron around his waist and strikes a pose for his childish husband, who was laughing like a buffoon and looking at him with glee in his squinted eyes.
Then, arms encircle him and pull him into familiar warmth. Kyungsoo hums in comfort while Jongin nudges with his nose at the soft hairs at his neck, just behind the ears. He tucks his chin into his shoulder and for a moment, the silence amplifies their steady heartbeats, harmonized. Jongin’s hands at the small of his back are so strong, and with the way Kyungsoo easily melds into his embrace, he thinks he could fall asleep like this: standing, safe, with Jongin holding him.
“I’m ready for my gift.” Jongin breaks their brief interlude of quiet, and Kyungsoo shivers slightly from the low rasp right in his ear.
Jongin leans back, arms still locking their waists together as he studies Kyungsoo’s now slightly down-turned lashes and a blooming glow that wasn’t from the wine. Just as how Kyungsoo never stopped blushing from intimate moments, Jongin never stopped being turned on by it, the pink so subtly suffused over pale skin that just makes one want to do immoral things.
“You always want the same thing.” He mumbles, eyes flickering up to him innocently lewd. “Anniversary, birthday, Christmas, Valentine’s.”
“You know me well.” With his arms still tied around his waist, he shuffles their steps toward the bedroom door.
Kyungsoo already feels Jongin’s fingers work at the knot on his back. The door is fumbled open, and before they tumble onto the sheets, Jongin sighs into Kyungsoo’s mouth,
“For you, always.”
It is no surprise that Baekhyun comes in the next morning hungover, shades on indoors, with a cup of green liquid that looks and smells revolting. He slumps in his office chair, and Kyungsoo is reminded that the space separating their desks is not nearly enough.
“Good morning.” He wrinkles his nose at the wafts of the beverage coming his way.
Baekhyun lifts a dainty finger to lower his sunglasses down to the tip of his nose, eyes slanting at Kyungsoo while he slurped obnoxiously on what must be juiced grass.
“You look chipper. Not sore from your hubby last night?”
Kyungsoo translates that to ‘good morning to you too’ and begins to flip through his assignments. He was hoping to be alone today, but alas, Baekhyun’s with him for at least half the day. He rubs at his temples to pre-nurse the sure headaches coming his way.
“We should get going. You going to be alright like this?” He scans Baekhyun, currently with feet up on the desk (displacing a booklet that was now dangling precariously over the edge), sucking on an empty drink, with a head of hair looking like it was tumbled dry.
Baekhyun nods, retracts his legs and wobbles upright, stepping ahead of Kyungsoo to stride out of the office. The two passes through the familiar glass and metal hallway, footsteps clean as they round the corner. They stop beside a large silver door with a digital pad. Kyungsoo presses his hand onto it first.
“I don’t know how you don’t get bored with him. I mean, unless your ‘Mr. Head Architect’ is a beast in bed. But still, six years is too long.”
“Five,” Kyungsoo lets out an annoyed breath. Somehow Baekhyun gave himself license to comment, at any time and any prompt, on Kyungsoo’s marriage. Kyungsoo knows that his incessant teasing is meant to get a rise out of him, but it’s hard not to indulge him, the little piece of shit that he is. “-and don’t project your commitment issues onto everyone around you. Some of us are mature enough to be in a stable relationship.”
Baekhyun’s prints clear too and the heavy doors slide open with a hiss, exposing the interior, dimly lit with green light.
“Testy, testy.” He sings while they both step in, “I’m just trying to un-invite myself for next year’s little love show, as cute as you guys are, it’s a little much, grown adults nuzzling each other like puppies in heat.”
“Noted.” Kyungsoo says, insufferably.
“Byun Baekhyun. Do Kyungsoo. Verbal authorization, confirmed.” The feminine voice mechanically enunciates each syllable.
The walls lift then, flooding the room with bright fluorescent light and the gears shift with a low hum. Metal racks slide out from behind to align into position as each shelf clicks to a stop from top to bottom, tilting to present their contents.
Baekhyun is still saying something, a yapping Chihuahua epitomized, and Kyungsoo tunes him out as white noise. Out of the corner of his eye, Baekhyun picks an AMT Hardballer, two spare magazines and a silencer. He then takes his time in picking out his favorite throw blades, swinging them in the air one by one before tucking them in.
Kyungsoo, on the other hand, takes a standard Walther PK 9 and just one spare magazine. The gun, per usual, is just protocol precaution. The blades have never failed him. Once he’s secured the sheaths at his thighs, he encloses the two push daggers and just one throw on his left. He doesn’t even have to look where to reach for his Eickhorn ACK, a vintage piece in this shiny vault of contemporary counterparts, but has a solid spot in Kyungsoo’s stubborn adherence to habit.
Geared up, Kyungsoo glances at Baekhyun while they both slide on their suit jackets.
“You went over the briefing?” He has to make sure Baekhyun at least knows who their target is.
“Relax, buttercup. Wang Hei. Chinese. Black market arms dealer. COEX lobby at 9:30am. Terminate on arrival with discretion. In and out, same old.”
Baekhyun leads the way out of the vault and rummages in his pant pocket to procure a piece of gum and strawberry-scented hand sanitizer. He coats his hands with the substance while flashing rows of white teeth, “Waiting on you now!” He turns to bounce down the hall, the previous low energy an illusion.
Kyungsoo follows reluctantly and prepares himself mentally for a full day with this overgrown child when Baekhyun, holding the elevator open, chirps impatiently,
“Come on, Kyungsoo. People need killin’!”
He shifts down the blinds again as light streams into the room in distorted slivers. The weather is uncommonly nice for winter months and Jongin finds himself humming to that song Kyungsoo was singing as he made breakfast today. In the new apron, of course, and his lips turn up at the image, still fresh.
“Feeling cheerful, birthday boy?” Chanyeol is sitting on the other side of the room, a foot propped on a big black metal case on the floor with a laptop on one knee. The building plan is spread out on the floor. They had studied the blueprint to find no problems and the team had already cleared the exits.
“You remembered.” Jongin lets go of the blinds and the room snaps back to dimness, the horizontal stripes of brightness from the window not enough to reach the corners.
“Yours and Kyungsoo’s birthdays sandwich your anniversary.” He moves the laptop onto the table and saunters over to hover by the window with Jongin, bringing over the big case in hand. “I hope he isn’t planning another surprise event for you. I cannot handle two consecutive evenings.”
“Don’t worry, hyung, whatever he has planned, it’ll be for my eyes only.” Jongin cracks a smirk and Chanyeol’s eye twitches in distaste.
“Smug bastard.” Chanyeol unclasps the case, “What does he do again? Accounting?” Jongin nods and Chanyeol lifts out the parts, setting it up on the stand next to Jongin. “It’s always the quiet ones, crunching numbers during the day, stirring sheets during the night.”
Deft hands complete the assembly in record time, and Jongin peers through the path-viewer to make sure it’s leveled and angled in position.
“But five years-”
“-has to get dull.” Chanyeol opens the second case right by the bed and has the decency to set the second one up for him.
“Envy sounds sour on your lips, hyung.”
There’s a brief buzz in the earpieces, and both of them goes quiet, assuming their posts behind the long-range rifles at the edge of the window. The target is on-lock and clean-up crew located nearby. They’re just waiting for the signal now.
“The sound of freedom, Jongin, a man not tied down by the shackles of eternal servitude, and unexciting, repetitive se-”
“You live with your mom.”
“By choice! There are-”
The command interrupts through the earpiece and Jongin is thankful for the timely save from Chanyeol’s offended rebuttals. It doesn’t take more than a second for both of them to lock sight on the path viewer, shoulders edged and fingers pulling swiftly on the triggers to complete the task, shots silently slicing through the open window in crisp morning air, landing perfectly on target.
When they’ve packed up and called in the clean-up crew to wipe the place, Chanyeol suggests the new BBQ downtown for lunch, heralding their Samgyeopsal as the best in Seoul, but Jongin is pretty sure he’s just into the attractive owner.
“Can’t. Central wants me to come in.”
Jongin nods, “Kris says it’s a big one.”
He arrives back in Central just in time, but big assignments will have to wait until he’s done with his meal currently heating in the microwave. It’s his favorite, Soo’s kimchi spaghetti, the only thing that competes with chicken. He’s chuckling at Kyungsoo’s cute birthday sticky note when the microwave beeps and Kris chooses that moment to peer his head in.
“Why aren’t you in my office?” The tall man enters the space and his tone would have intimidated most. But Jongin’s worked here too long.
“Having lunch, Kris.”
“That’s ‘Boss’ to you.” He takes the chair across from Jongin, eyeing the steaming container full of red pasta. “Home cooked, huh.”
“You’re not getting any.”
Kris scoffs in disgust but frowns with a lingering glance at the tupperware. “Well now that you’re here, let’s get to business.” Jongin hums and shrugs, mouth full of food, and Kris raises a hand in a beckoning motion.
A tall, blond kid enters. He looks like he was overstretched vertically, face long and sharp, limbs willowy. Handsome, with his steely stare and bored demeanor, but with a little ‘baby’ still left in his face. He looks about the same age at which Jongin was recruited.
He’s introduced as Sehun, code name ‘The Wolf’. Jongin didn’t know Central was letting rookies pick their own names now and has to stifle a snicker. The Cub would be a more fitting alias. Or maybe The Noodle. Kris is now saying something about him training under Jongin, and he freezes.
Jongin’s voiced confusion is muffled by the food. He swallows his mouthful and studies Kris’s blank expression. He’s not joking.
“Give him to Chanyeol, I don’t have the patience for an ‘intern’.” Jongin leans back in his seat and gives the kid a cold glance. “And you should probably reconsider the name.”
“We don’t want another Chanyeol,” Kris folds his hands across the table, moving into the no-negotiation stance, but Jongin wouldn’t have any of it.
“The girls then, they’ll like the fresh meat.” Jongin furrows his brows in annoyance, and the kid is still standing there, expressionless.
“Jongin.” Kris’s voice is lower now, eyes fixed on him, any sense of leisure gone. “This is your assignment.”
Jongin holds the stare and years of working under this man has taught him when Kris is not to be challenged. An annoyed breath comes out in a hiss and Jongin gets up, closing the lid on his unfinished pasta, appetite spoiled by the presence of his boss and new charge. He indulges Kris with a “Yes, sir.” before moving towards the door.
“Take the rest of the day off, and here,” Kris flings something at him. Jongin catches the flash of silver. “Happy birthday, Kai.”
Both his code name (an artifact abandoned in year three) and the birthday wish sound ridiculously alien on Kris’s tongue. He turns the object over. A steel GMT-Master II. His eyes spring up in surprise.
“Consider it an employee appreciation gift also.”
If Kris can afford to hand out Rolexes as employee rewards, then Jongin is not being paid enough. He gives casual thanks and pockets the watch, along with the suspicion that more is brewing beneath the surface.
“Welcome home.” A low rasp from the couch starts Kyungsoo at the doorway and his hand fly to the spare blade latched onto his inner waistband as he turns around, ready to impale the voice source.
It’s Jongin. Kyungsoo’s hand spasms so hard away from his back that it might have detached. He was not expecting him to be home. Kyungsoo’s eyes flick to the clock.
“Hey. You’re home early!”
Training keeps his voice calm and unrevealing. Training also keeps him from panicking about the two blood stains on his shirt, one at the back of the collar and a bigger one on his left sleeve. He tucks his left arm down and angles his body subtly while Jongin gets up from the couch and strolls towards him.
Jongin’s arms lift to pull Kyungsoo into a hug and Kyungsoo has to fight the urge to flinch away. Stains on his shirt semi-obvious, the Eickhorn still tucked into his pants, and he knows he smells like antiseptic. He lets himself be pulled in anyway, needing to act normal, body buzzing with alertness.
But Jongin is warm, arms tight around his shoulders, smelling like familiar cologne mixed with a dash of kimchi spaghetti. Kyungsoo feels his tension slowly dissolve, however unwillingly, and he precariously leans into the touch. He whispers his birthday greeting into Jongin’s neck, answered with a happy hum in his hair, and asks about his day.
“I got assigned an intern. Rookie. It’s annoying.” Kyungsoo coos in response and his hand rubs on Jongin’s back gently. Jongin lifts his head and releases his arms from his shoulders, “but they did let me have the day off,” his hands then slide down Kyungsoo’s back and he tenses as they ventured lower and lower, so dangerously close to the outline of the blade. “And gave me a watch.”
His left hand stops at the small of his back in a light caress while he used his right to dig into his pant pocket to produce the shiny Timepiece, and Kyungsoo whistles, thinking this is how Gangnam treats their architects.
“Well I prefer your gift much more.” Jongin’s lips lift and suddenly he’s on him again, hands now firmer on his back, roaming cheekily down south and Kyungsoo slaps him away a half inch from the Eickhorn handle. Jongin’s head jolts to the side to look at him.
“That’s for later.” Kyungsoo keeps his voice low and intentionally teasing. Jongin hesitates but Kyungsoo bites his bottom lip for good measure and just like that, suspicion is dispelled and husband is successfully whipped.
Or maybe not. With his hands now safely holding Kyungsoo’s biceps, Jongin is laying butterfly kisses at his neck and Kyungsoo can’t help but crane it towards him for more. He should be trying to move away to change and get rid of the extra blade. He is more disciplined than this. But Kyungsoo finds his eyes fluttering shut with a sigh and he is unable to step away.
Jongin intertwines their left fingers and briefly breaks his worshipping of Kyungsoo’s neck. A soft whine was about to escape in protest when Jongin takes verbal notice of the sharp antiseptic smell on him. Kyungsoo’s eyes snap open, but he has a ready answer. Spill at work today, had to clean it up, he says. It wasn’t a lie. He needs to pull away now, before more questions are asked, specifically hard to explain ones such as why he has a professional grade combat knife tucked into his pants.
“I bet it was Baekhyun.” Jongin’s teeth are back at his collarbone, nibbling, and Kyungsoo feels the regained alertness tear away in wisps by the little bites he’s scattering onto his skin. He really shouldn’t be distracted right now. He hums in the affirmative. Also not a lie. Baekhyun’s never been too concerned about keeping clean.
“Was it red wine?” He lifts Kyungsoo’s left hand and they both eye the dark red spot on the sleeve. “Alcohol in the office? Accountants gone wild.” Jongin chuckles and doesn’t press any further.
Kyungsoo studies his husband’s eyes then, glinting with amusement and the usual relaxed contentment. The bottomless brown calms him too. Jongin is looking at him with that special mixture, in which Kyungsoo can always pick out pride, awe, and lust, but it’s the overwhelmingly unsuspecting, lazy happiness in his smile that turns Kyungsoo’s relief into a prickling guilt that settles sour on his sides.
Kyungsoo motions to the kitchen and thinks maybe he should get started on making dinner (after safely disposing of the knife and a quick shower, of course). He was planning on preparing Jongin’s favorites before he got home, the chicken thawing in the fridge along with ingredients for seafood soup. Knowing his husband, he must be hungry.
“I’ll have you in the bath instead, please.” He says, and swoops in for a kiss.
Unlike his lewd tease, the kiss is wistful, slow and tasting of longing. It’s the way Jongin always kisses him, like he’s savoring him, or that he’s delicate beyond sense. It makes Kyungsoo’s chest feel a little tight at the seams and too hazy to be standing upright. Jongin kisses to melt him and Kyungsoo does, every suckle and tug matched with small sighs and a new flood of warmth. He kisses him back, reverently, and thinks it is like this that Jongin can make him feel special in a blink. Can make him forget where he is, who he is or what he does. They pull apart, and the glaze in both of their eyes doesn’t need to be voiced out loud.
“Come on, I want to sample my gift in the bathroom acoustics.”
Kyungsoo laughs and shakes his head disbelievingly. At how his husband never left puberty. At how the spell of the kiss still isn’t broken with crude innuendos. He is stupidly in love.
Kyungsoo heads towards the bedroom while Jongin goes to run the water, where he finally puts away the blade, shrugs out of his blood-stained shirt and gathers two pairs of pajamas for both of them.
Later, the pajamas are left forgotten in the bathroom as they tumble straight out of the tub and into the bed, dripping wet and not really much cleaner (which Kyungsoo will grumble at Jongin for in the morning). And when they snap out of it at 2 am, Jongin makes cup noodles and carries them onto the bed (which Kyungsoo will also grumble at Jongin for in the morning), where they devour it, exhausted and boneless and feeling like teenagers.
Two weeks into babysitting, Jongin is completely fed up with Sehun’s resting brat face and churlish attitude. He yawns during Technical Assembly sessions, whines about wanting to ‘learn how to KungFu fight instead of putting together guns’ and swings his noodle limbs for attention when Jongin ignores him, which is often. Yet there is an incalculable scrutiny Sehun sports that is chillingly removed from his childish demeanor. It is the way he gazes at Jongin, observatory with a natural air of condescension laced with boredom and detachment. Jongin is wary of being studied. But the moment he narrows his eyes on the young boy, Sehun is tilting his head at him, complaining and pouting with his lisp. Seamless mask, if Jongin’s ever seen one.
It is during one of their afternoon simulations that Jongin feels Sehun’s stare on him again. Jongin looks up from the floor plan he has laid out on his cluttered office desk, his hand pauses mid-air, holding a miniature soldier, hovering right above the circled red exits and escape routes.
“Hyung, you’re married?” Sehun shifts his eyes to Jongin’s wedding band before angling his head with practiced innocence.
Jongin sets down the plastic soldier in response, hardening his gaze.
“Who’s the lucky one?” He sings, shifting up a little in his seat like an impatient toddler.
“None of your business. Now focus.”
“Oh come on.” His whine ends extra shaky. “It’s such a mystery around the office, no one knows, not even boss!”
That’s not true. Chanyeol knows, and that is only because Chanyeol understands confidentiality. That and he had personally sworn to crash his wedding if Jongin didn’t let him be the Best Man. Jongin is suddenly reminded of his toast, mostly tales of the two of them pre-recruitment, stories of their orphanage misadventures. Jongin remembers him shaking Kyungsoo’s hand, introducing himself as a colleague of Jongin’s at their ‘Gangnam architectural firm’. Chanyeol understands that sometimes discretion from our closest ones is a means of protection.
“People don’t even know the gender, hyung! If you swing that way I won’t judge, so tell me, come on, tell me!”
There’s a knock on the door, and Jongin turns to see Kris standing outside the glass, waiting. He is relieved to go, leaving Sehun looking disappointed and unsatisfied.
“The watch looks good on you.” Kris motions to the Rolex on his wrist. Kyungsoo had told him to wear it, out of respect and that hopefully with it he wouldn’t be late to work all the time. Jongin nods and looks up expectantly.
“My office.” Kris simply says. They cross the maze like floor towards the giant space in the back, enclosed by a massive gothic mahogany door that screams ‘opulent and unnecessary’. Completely out of place here but fits in perfectly with Kris’s style.
The only good thing about the excessive office is the unbelievably comfortable leather armchair that Jongin is currently sinking into.
Kris moves a folder across his desk. Jongin glances at the sealed package.
“Your assignment. Of utmost importance.”
“I thought my assignment is currently sulking in my room in the form of an insubordinate teenager?”
Kris shakes his head. “You couldn’t possibly think that that was your big assignment.”
Jongin reaches across the desk for the folder but is stopped by an abrupt hand on the file. Kris’s face is hard-set; frown matching the strength of his unmoving fingers on the papers.
“This is a tough one, Jongin.” Kris is prompted to continue by Jongin’s quirked eyebrow. “Target’s a professional. Highly trained veteran, versatile and specializes in close range combat. This will not be a walk in the park.”
“No, he’s with another agency.”
Jongin frowns. There are unspoken guidelines in this industry that prohibit killing a gun-for-hire from another agency. Kris knows this.
“We have to act because this individual has compromised our personnel. Now he is very good at covering his tracks, but for the past couple of years he has been stationary. We think he’s on a sleeper mission, and one of our staff is implicated.”
“Who?” Kris’s hand is still on the file, and Jongin itches to uncover this unprecedented challenge.
“We don’t know. Like I said, he is difficult to investigate. He could be a friendly neighbor, a local florist, or completely invisible. We’ve confirmed with reliable sources that one of Central’s agents is involved but all we have on that target is a code name and his last location. It’s in the file.” Kris finally lifts the folder towards Jongin.
He lifts the cover and it’s a photo that greets Jongin first. He blinks. Once, because the picture is blurry. Twice, because the figure is familiar. Three times, because his entire body has frozen from the top down and his brain blinks to see if he is still alive. He stares at the figure, at Kyungsoo, at his husband in the picture and this is a terrible joke. Did Chanyeol put him up for this? He whips his head up from the file and Kris looks at him, face impassive and cold eyes answering his question.
This is a horrendous mix-up, a case of mistaken identity, his heart whispers in a hurry, and he wants to tell Kris that Do Kyungsoo is his husband, his dazzling, terribly sexy accountant husband, not a modern day assassin. But out of habit, Jongin feels his face harden into a stone pokerface and his eyes back on the file. It boasts of an impressive career that has nothing to do with numbers or financial accounts. Somewhere in the foreign information is Kyungsoo’s first and only failed mission. Istanbul, 12 years ago. It was only documented because he had to be admitted to the hospital (fake alias with picture ID) for a nasty wound down his back on the right side. Jongin reads that line over and over again.
His chest pounds in protest, but it is too late for denial. It’s already too late because Jongin’s brain turns and turns and turns, piecing together everything Kris said and assembling it into venomous betrayal, delivering the dosage straight to his heart and the potency makes it stop its delusions. Adrenaline course through Jongin’s bloodstream and it feels like hydrogen peroxide, the way it burns his limbs and corrodes Jongin’s insides to nothing but hollow dread.
Kris is talking, words still registering in Jongin’s ears, and he thinks he’s going to be sick. His eyes don’t leave the photo, even though it’s hurting him. He tries desperately to close them and to shut out Kris’s continued meaningless information about Kyungsoo (code name D.O., grew up in the countryside, etc.), but he can’t. Paralyzed, he is forced to be lucid during his own devastation, his brain the only part of him that isn’t crushed, running at a mile a minute.
His mind recounts from the beginning, cleverly recalibrating each memory of Kyungsoo within the framework of a sleeper mission and Jongin tastes bile at the back of his throat. There’s also metallic rust in his mouth and he absentmindedly realizes that his bite on his lips is drawing blood.
Jongin is snapped out by Kris’s tapping on the folder with a pen and a concerned look plastered on his face.
“Jongin? You’re shaking.” Kris stands to walk around the desk and Jongin shuts the folder rapidly. As if Kris hasn’t already seen it. As if with one more look, he will know that this is Jongin’s husband. Jongin stands along with him and his legs are molten lead, heavy and unstable. He wills himself to stay upright. He wills himself to not vomit. He needs to get out of here.
“I’m fine.” He cannot look at Kris in the eye, the man who brought his world crumbling down in mere ten minutes. “Can I go?” He knows he sounds pathetic and weak.
“Yes. Standard procedures, then. Once you have his location, you have 48 hours to make contact and terminate target.” Kris pats him on the back reassuringly, reading Jongin’s daze as anxiety. “Nothing you can’t handle, kid.” He walks towards the door.
“Ah, but his location is problematic, because the last public place at which he was spotted was the COEX hotel downtown, and that was two weeks ago. We have not been able to pinpoint his exact coordinates since then.”
Jongin only nods stiffly; exiting the office the moment Kris opened the door.
He knows exactly where his target is. He can already see him, in the kitchen, humming a ballad with his back to him, a silly apron tied around his waist, shimmying about, preparing a sumptuous dinner. He can already see him turning around, with that heart-shaped smile too brilliant for this world, eyes crinkling and hands wiping at his thighs before reaching out to him, welcoming him home with his warm scent and shy kiss.
Jongin throws up in the staircase on his way down.
Jongin opens the door not knowing what to expect. He has a palm at his lower back as he steps in. The handle of the GK17 has never felt so cold or lethal until now.
Kyungsoo isn’t at the kitchen, instead, he’s lounging on the couch, and the scent of takeout drifts to doorway. It’s Thursday. Jongin forgot. Was it Chinese this week? It is absurd, the way this mundane daily detail makes Jongin want to collapse onto his knees.
Kyungsoo gets up, and the moment he makes eye contact, Jongin looks away. He’s coming closer, and Jongin takes a sudden step back, wanting to turn away, wanting to run. But he needs to stay. He needs to make sure.
Jongin’s gaze drifts to the walls. This is their apartment, and he’s seen it thousands of times, but today he notices just how many frames of them there are. When they had gotten married, Kyungsoo said he wanted to make up for both of their orphaned, photo-less childhoods by taking as many embarrassing pictures as they could. So cascading down the beige surface are frames, big and small, of them on Splash Mountain at Disneyland, of blurry Jongin with a handful of greasy street food and a greasier grin, of Kyungsoo with light streaming through his hair and in his eyes, looking incandescent in the Malta sun on their honeymoon. Only an hour ago, these were precious memories. Now they look like stock-photos of someone else’s blissful life.
Jongin feels spent. His hand slips slightly past the gun tucked into his waistline. He wants to grab something for purchase but he can’t hold onto the pistol. He can’t.
Welcome home, Jongin hears, closer to him and the doorway. But Kyungsoo has sensed something and stopped where he was. He probably sees the way Jongin’s stare flitters around the apartment, his stance stiff and posture awkward.
“Jongin?” The worry in his voice resonates in Jongin like a lullaby and he fights and fights and fights the urge to throw away his gun and escape into Kyungsoo’s arms.
“I went to your office today.” Jongin finds the courage to look at Kyungsoo for the first time this evening.
“O-oh.” Kyungsoo’s eyes widen ever so slightly from surprise, his right hand grasp his left elbow and his shoulders tighten a little in defense, the same look when he evaded talking about where he got that dark, long scar on the right side of his back. “I wasn’t in. Meeting at the Bucheon branch. Did you need something?”
The polite caution in Kyungsoo’s voice scalds Jongin the way a dry forest fire spreads and destroys heedlessly. It is a slow inferno, not erupting rage, but an incinerating anguish as Jongin now accepts everything Kris said. Because he can tell Kyungsoo is lying.
“Just a surprise.” Jongin forces himself to relax, to smile, but it doesn’t come. He lifts his head and Kyungsoo’s looking at him with a small smile and glossy eyes.
A special smile that is uniquely for Jongin. The corners of his lips widen instead of lift, his eyes twinkle instead of crinkle, and his cheeks fill instead of raise. The one with which he kissed Jongin goodbye this morning. The one he donned when he told Jongin kimchi breath was his favorite after their rushed and rather distasteful first kiss. The one Jongin burnt into his mind when they whispered their vows.
It is merciless, the way his mind twists and disintegrates all of his treasures into lies, and Jongin suddenly finds the spacious living room asphyxiating. He edges towards the door in a blind stumble to exit.
“Jongin?” Kyungsoo rushes to follow him, but Jongin puts up a shaky arm.
“I-I’m going out for drinks. With Chanyeol. I’ll be back late. Don’t. Don’t wait up.” He chokes out, and he can’t look up at Kyungsoo’s worry-filled countenance lest his mind takes that away from him too.
When Jongin picked a rather crowded bar, it was to drink more and hear Chanyeol talk less. But of course, Chanyeol manages to boom over the background noise with his relentless overreactions. He’s gone through every emotion on the spectrum, shock, disbelief, anger, resentment, moral superiority, and finally settling on what he thinks is a light hearted sympathy. Jongin knows it’s really pity. It tastes the same as the glasses of vodka he’s swallowed.
Chanyeol’s just talking to fill the silence now, reiterating the benefits of living with one’s mother and occasionally returning to the topic at hand with unsolicited advice, perhaps understanding that Jongin does not want to speak. Chanyeol’s a good friend like that, and Jongin’s thankful for it. But nothing distracts him from this. Chanyeol speaks of untangling. He doesn’t understand that when you’re embedded, engraved into another person, by another person, you cannot untangle. You can only shatter.
“You’re at an advantage, Jongin. Now that you know, it’s a game changer.” Chanyeol reaches for Jongin’s now empty glass, because he’s had too much. Jongin lets him, and waves down the bartender for another. “From now on, you won’t have to be the butt of the joke anymore.”
Chanyeol is wrong. There is no before and after. Knowing doesn’t only affect ‘now on’, but taints everything, all of their six years and in between. Jongin feels like a spectacular fool for all of it.
“The last six years, you’ve lost. But it doesn’t have to be like that next. Jongin, you can win the finale!” Chanyeol makes it sound simple. He seems to forget that by ‘winning’, Jongin has to end the life of the person he was planning on spending his life with.
“Don’t be soft.” It’s like Chanyeol reads his mind. Or maybe Jongin’s voiced his misery out loud. He’s quite, quite drunk.
Chanyeol shifts next to him, suddenly, up to his feet, and Jongin groggily turns to look. Jongin’s view is blocked and he shuffles aside to see what has Chanyeol stiffening in a defensive stance in front of him.
It’s his hus-. It’s Kyun-. It’s him.
Standing at the entrance. Waiting.
Chanyeol tries to keep him from stepping forward but Jongin pats his shoulders firmly. Chanyeol seeks eye contact and only reluctantly relents when he finds sober despair in Jongin’s clear gaze. I’ll be fine, Jongin says in his squared shoulders and even breathing. I don’t believe you, comes Chanyeol’s reply in his wary face but he lets Jongin step past him anyway, knowing he can’t stop him.
Jongin pushes out the door first, and the burst of fresh air hits him, helping to shake the haze from his head. In his periphery, Kyungsoo rushes out after him, led by him to the parking lot to the far right of the bar. The barren concrete space is shared between the bar and a Spanish tavern. The easy, light tango music carries out into the dark night.
He hears Kyungsoo call his name, sounding frantic. He spins around when he’s safely hidden within the shadows of the lot, bringing Kyungsoo to a standstill beneath the bright flood of a street lamp. He sees Kyungsoo’s eyes squinting desperately to see him. He calls Jongin again.
“Why are you here?”
“I… went to your usual bars,” Kyungsoo bites his lip to inwardly reflect how invasive it was and how guilty he feels about it, “I’m really worried, you looked… so distraught.”
“I-is something wrong, Jongin?” Kyungsoo takes a step forward, and now his face is half obscured into the shadow and half illuminated to fluorescent exposure.
Jongin leans back and supports himself on a wall. He feels the barrel of the gun push into his skin at his waist.
“I understand now, Kyungsoo.” He starts. Maybe he’s more intoxicated than he thinks. “Why it was always me who wanted you more. Why I sought you ceaselessly, and you let me, but always behind your safe harbor of appropriate emotional distance.” He knows he doesn’t make any sense, but it is too late to stop now.
“Jongin…” Kyungsoo looks confused and distressed.
“I was the one who begged you to move in, to marry me. You let me get away with what I could. You let me think you were in love with me, not as much as I was in love with you, but I could live with that. I knew that anyway.”
He’s blabbering and Kyungsoo has stepped away from the light fully to be feet away in front of him.
Jongin lets out a shaky breath, his vision swims, “You were so perfect. You fooled me, you really did. Now’s your chance, Kyungsoo. Finish the job.”
He feels Kyungsoo getting closer, silently in the darkness. His hand doesn’t even attempt to grab at the pistol in his back.
Then, Kyungsoo’s right in front of him, hands coming up to caress his cheeks and Jongin sees his eyes come into view. Those fatal eyes.
“Jongin, talk to me, please. Tell me what’s wrong.” A flawless actor even until the end, Jongin thinks. “Let’s go home, please. Please come home and talk to me.” Even the panic still sounds genuine in his voice. Or perhaps Jongin’s too drunk to tell.
“… ‘Til death do us part,” Jongin suddenly grips Kyungsoo’s shoulders and spins them around, pushing Kyungsoo into the wall with a dull thud and leaning in until he was only inches from his mouth. Jongin’s sure Kyungsoo can smell the vodka on his breath. “… Right?”
Kyungsoo’s eyes are full of alarm, bewilderment, and concern, but Jongin ignores his Oscar-worthy skills by closing the space between their mingled breaths.
It is nothing like how he usually kisses him. This is possessive, domineering, turbulent. Jongin feels Kyungsoo try to gasp for breath in his mouth and he only drives in deeper, forcing Kyungsoo’s head to tilt up to an awkward angle as he bears down on him. Kyungsoo’s hands shakily come up to Jongin’s chest to try to push him away as he abuses his mouth, but he does not relent. His teeth are at Kyungsoo’s lips, rough, and his tongue prying his mouth open so forcefully that dribble is leaking out the left corner, accompanying his muffled protests.
The more Jongin kisses him, the angrier he is. Because even now, every pump of his heart is telling him to soften, to kiss him the way he wants to. His mouth remembers him, remembers their usual tango, and not whatever this struggle is. Even now, he desperately wishes to go back. To whatever fantasy the past six years had been.
He lets go when he feels a cut on his lip. He’s dizzy, from the vodka or the lack of oxygen, but there is no waver in his voice in what he says next.
“I’m a hitman, just like you, but you knew that already. My next assignment is you, Do Kyungsoo. So, go. Go home. The next time I see you I will kill you.”
He can’t see Kyungsoo’s expression and he’s grateful for it. He turns and stumbles back into the bar to a Chanyeol looking on edge and impatient.
“Did you…?” Complete the assignment.
“Did you…?” Confront him.
Chanyeol lets out a hiss and a million reasons why it was not a good idea. Jongin gives a pathetic excuse, something about leveling the playing field or fighting fair and Chanyeol calls bullshit on it immediately.
“You’re just a job to him, Jongin. Do not be weak next time.”
“I know.” Jongin traces the outline of the GK17 with a firm, resolute hand, suddenly sober. “I’m gearing up.” He strides out of the bar, and Chanyeol trails behind with a “That’s more like it!”