34: Puzzles

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You make it about ten steps outside the bathroom before Jungkook's legs give out on him. His arms, which had been hooked around your shoulders on one side and Taehyung's on the other, go insanely heavy with the dead weight of his body.

Grunting with the sudden extra pressure, you grab for his waist at the same time as Taehyung, both of you scrambling to stabilize the weak man before he can slide out of your hold and face plant on the carpeted, blood-speckled floor.

Jungkook groans, staring forward with glazed eyes. You don't think he's all there - his mind appears to be drifting around in a state of drug-like emptiness, the pain forcing his mind from his body in an attempt to protect him.

You can only hope that the stab wound hasn't reopened his shoulder. He can't afford to lose any more blood.

Outside, Jin and Namjoon are standing in the foyer, the eldest braced with his hands on his hips, staring down at the once-pristine carpet that now looks as if its contracted chickenpox.

"The freaking carpet," he sighs, massaging the bridge of his nose with long fingers.

You almost laugh at that.

It isn't the bodies lying haphazardly around the floor, or the fact that the red dots littering random surfaces is blood.


It's the carpet.

"If you're worried about the carpet, you don't even want to see the bathroom," Yoongi says with an easy grin that somehow doesn't seem to fit the situation.

"Not a concern right now, hyung." Namjoon blinks at the four of you stumbling out of the bathroom, his lips flattened into a thin, grim line. "Car's out back. Get Kook in and jet."

You're semi-surprised at the obedient way Yoongi nods toward the younger man, leading you and Taehyung dragging the partially conscious Jungkook between you. You've noticed that - there's a kind of unspoken respect for Namjoon that everyone understands, even the difficult ex-mob-boss Yoongi.

You wonder why.

Taehyung can't hold a gun, and hard-headed Yoongi gives into the will of a younger, less experienced Namjoon.

Hoseok's almost psychic.

Jin's a medically-trained neat freak, and Jimin's a cute-faced, sweet-hearted psycho.

Jungkook actually has a soft side.

There isn't one man in this group of seven that you can figure out. Depths and shadows and dark streaks of past hide aspects of them from your sight, some that you'll probably never uncover. Each man is like their own ink-covered, finely-crafted puzzle that's as complex and baffling as it is beautiful.

As tempting as it is to attempt at unraveling the mystery of those puzzles, you're afraid that you don't want to know what lies inside.

"We've got to stop feeding him so much," Taehyung hisses through gritted teeth, his deep voice strained. He's trying to take on the majority of Jungkook's weight on his own, making up for your smaller stature. "Come on, Jungkookie. You've got to help us out a little bit. "

Hearing the older man's voice from somewhere very far away, Jungkook shakes his head a little bit and a sliver of his mind comes back into his head. Now, instead of being dragged forcefully along the ground, he stumbles along with your guidance.

Yoongi brings you through the hallway leading to the basement, shoving the door open and gesturing you to descend into the gloomy darkness at the bottom of the staircase.

With a pounding heart, you hesitantly glance at the black-haired man with all that sugar-pale skin as he holds open the door. Like Yoongi can read your mind, his nose crinkles up into a cute frown.

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