03: Path to Hell
You’re standing in a bland waiting room behind Hoseok, his toned body being the only thing that catches your attention in this entire space. The walls are white, the chairs are white, the end tables are white, the lights are fluorescent white, and even the fucking floor tiles are white. It’s an eye sore and you absolutely fucking hate it.
Maybe it’s the darkness inside of you, but you can’t stand being around this much light. It makes you feel uneasy. You’re not used to it. You’ve been surrounded by so much darkness for the vast majority of your life. This doesn’t feel right at all.
There’s a few charcoal drawings and dark acrylic paintings on the wall, but of course, they’re all framed in white fixtures. They’re beautiful but the color of this waiting room makes their beauty seem melancholy. Maybe that’s the vibe Namjoon is going for though. It does seem to fit him. He always tries to tell you that light and darkness are one in the same and that you can’t have one without the other. It’s a sad truth you haven’t yet accepted. You think the world is strictly in black and white. One side for the good and one side for the bad. But you of all people should know there exists a dull gray somewhere in the middle. Neither for light or darkness but for what remains when you mix the two together.
Like when Jungkook robbed you of all your innocence, corrupting your very soul down to the core of who you were and who you could be. You became the middle ground, the vast pool of gray bleakness, somewhere in-between the wicked and the wise, the line between the righteous and the unholy. The incredibly thin line between love and hate. You are neither good nor evil and that has been fucking with you for the last ten years. You have trouble making sense of it all, no matter how many endless sessions of therapy you endure. It’s never-ending torture not knowing what side of the fence you truly belong on. When you don’t fit in on either side, it’s easy to feel like you’re all alone.
“Light and darkness exist inside us all. It’s human nature and we cannot help or change that.” Dr. Kim told you at the end of your very first visit. It was his last piece of advice as you walked out of the door in anticipation of what his diagnosis would be. Your heart was in shambles after that first appointment, but Namjoon used his words to help you put it back together. “But what we can do is choose which one we show the world. The darkness can stay locked inside of us forever. We don’t have to unleash it, ____.”
And what was your response to that?
“I’m afraid I already have, doctor.”
Things were never the same between you and The Counselor after that. You quickly became his favorite patient, but you were more than just a client to him. You were an enigma someone as intelligent as him just had to crack. He had to get inside that pretty little head of yours. The moment you realized what he was trying to do you offered him another choice. You didn’t want anyone inside your head but letting someone inside your body was a different story. And thus, it began.
Friday’s weren’t for you counseling appointments anymore. They were for your dick appointments. Your appointments would often run over, but not because you were getting the help you needed. Because you were busy getting fucked on every possible surface in Dr. Kim’s office. And there were plenty of them. His desk, his chair, the couch, the table, the wall, the glass windows, the floor... and so on.
It was fun at first, but like everything else in your life, it quickly became complicated. When it first started, it gave you a distraction. Something to keep your mind off Yoongi and Jungkook. There was nothing you could do about Jungkook at that point, and Yoongi, well... there’s never been anything you could do about him. Or his lack of feelings. So, you found reprieve in Namjoon, a very beautiful man who gave you the few things that Yoongi chose not to.
Some semblance of a love life.
Comfort and strength.
A distraction from all your problems.
The list could go on, but regardless, it was nice while it lasted. As with all good things, it had to come to an end. And like always, the beginning of the end hit you like a ton of bricks. All at once. Namjoon wasn’t a councilor for no fucking reason. It wasn’t a coincidence that he ended up here.
He didn’t go to college just to get a degree to find a good job, so he wasn’t stuck with some shitty nine to five that paid minimum wage. He wanted to help people, but he was often at war with wanting to help himself first. That’s why he let things go on between the two of you for so long. He let his own selfish needs come before yours. You didn’t need to be having an affair with your therapist. You needed to be getting help from him. He was intelligent enough to see what you were doing and understand why you were doing it.
You used your body as distraction, to ward him off from entering your mind. You were hiding something from everyone... something you didn’t want anyone to know... and maybe something you didn’t even know yourself. His own desires suppressed that information, putting it at the very back of his mind. The moment he realized what was happening, he ended your extracurricular activities immediately, much to your disappointment. Without sex to keep the two of you preoccupied, it became clear that you were only a patient to him once again, and patients were only there to be seen.
So, despite all your initial protests, you were counseled. Every week. For a couple hours that often felt like an eternity. You hated every part of it. The way he looked at you with his judgmental eyes, the way he made you recall your most painful memories, the way he scribbled away at his stupid notepad, and the way he’d bite his lip when you said something troubling. He was probably thinking about how lucky he was that he ended things with an insane bitch like you. Or so that’s what you let yourself think...
Two weeks later, after Namjoon ended things between the two of you, you ended your appointments with him completely. That was three weeks ago. Now here you are once again at his door. He said you would come crawling back on your hands and knees when you realized how much help someone like you needed.
Someone like you...?
The way it came out made it seem like you were a monster. Maybe you were. He made you think there was something wrong with you. That’s because there was and you hated him for pointing it out like that. You didn’t want him getting inside your head, but you provided him with the keys to do so. You were only an enigma to him and he finally found out what made you crack. Little did he know; he made a piece of your heart crack too.
“____?” Hoseok calls your name, trying to get your attention. Shit. Your mind strayed too far again. You snap back into reality, looking for Hoseok, who’s filling out your paperwork while hitting on the secretary through the glass wall that separates them. At least you didn’t miss anything important... “What’s your resident registration number?”
“I thought Yoongi gave it to you already.” You reply with a sigh, reaching for the clipboard to write the fake number down. Yoongi issued it to you after your real one burned to ashes in the fire Jungkook started, along with everything else that belonged to you. Your room, your photographs, your memories...
The rest of the world thinks you died in that fire along with the rest of your family, and in some ways, part of you did perish. The good part.
Yoongi found you before you could go to the police, but you were never really sure if you were going to anyway. You knew how crazy your story sounded. Yoongi is the one who advised against you coming forward, saying they wouldn’t believe you with no evidence. The little evidence you did have was either all circumstantial or testimonial. It wouldn’t hold up in court and no one would believe such a kind, generous man like Jeon Jungkook would ever do such a thing. Not even the police.
You found out years later that was completely true. The law enforcement and city officials had become just as corrupt as the criminals that roamed the streets.... if not entirely worse.
The Jeon family got away with arson and murder. Twice.
First, with the fire they set on the Min estate when Yoongi was only a child, claiming the life of his beloved mother, and almost claiming Yoongi himself. He was dragged out by a fireman who saw him sitting on a chair in the living room as hellish flames burned around him. He knew his mother was already gone and he wanted to join her. If the emergency firstresponders had come a second later, the heir to the Min family would’ve died that day too.
His father survived the flames too, but he couldn’t overcome his grief. He took his own life not too long after, leaving Yoongi all alone, only to be raised by the men that followed his father. Murderers. Criminals. Drug traffickers. The crime family was all he had, but it was better than no family at all.
Yoongi grew into his role as heir gracefully, fitting the same mold his father had left behind. He passed every test they had for him with flying colors. All the animosity and hatred in him fueled his ascent to power. He quickly transformed from being a little boy to a full on man. A leader. A godfather. A king.
But at the same time Yoongi was rising to power, another king was being trained to take over the chessboard. Jeon Jungkook. He was protected like he was God himself as was the rest of the family. So, Yoongi never had the time or resources to enact his revenge. All his responsibilities as a leader took over most of his spare time anyway.
The Jeon family was free to do whatever the fuck they wanted just like they always had been. And then, history repeated itself when they murdered and burned your families bodies. All because your father was a poor farmer who took out loans he couldn’t pay back to feed you and the rest of your family. The soldiers that worked for the Jeon family poisoned the crops before your father could even give them a dime toward his debt and they knew that was his only source of money.
Then, they sent their boss’s own little boy to the countryside to come play with you, adorned in dirty rags when they possessed riches. It was all a disguise, one that you fell for. When you saw that little kid standing there, wide-eyed, wearing clothes with holes torn through them and caked in dirt, you begged your family to let him come inside to clean up and stay for dinner. You treated him like a friend even though he was merely a stranger. Once he cleaned up and changed into some hand-me-downs that came from you, your mother gave him some rice cakes she’d made as a snack.
Afterwards, the two of you went outside to play. You had so much fun with that little boy, playing for hours on the farm, only to end up caked in dirt and mud all over again. Living in the country meant there weren’t many kids around, so you didn’t have many friends. You were a lonely child because of that.
“You’re going to be my best friend!” You decided at the end of the day, the sun casting an orange haze to the crystal blue sky.
The sunset was beautiful but your gaze lingered on the little boy next to you, his bunny smile coming to a close at your words. His overbite was still apparent though and you thought it was the cutest darn thing in the entire world. Next to the boy himself.
“You don’t even know my n-n-name.” The boy stuttered shyly, his tone taking a soft tone that was far from the giddy one you’d gotten used to throughout the day.
“So tell me!” You smiled happily, playing with the flowers that sprung from ground. “I already told you mine!”
“I’m Jeon Jungkook.” He winced at the sound of his name, like it caused him shame, but you were too young to notice it.
“See! That’s not such a bad name.”
You were too distracted to hear him mutter, “It’s not just bad. It’s the worst.”
You ended that day with a smile on your face only to wake up with a frown that would never go away. You found out Jeon Jungkook wasn’t your friend. He was your enemy.
“____?” Hoseok calls your name impatiently, sounding slightly annoyed. “Give me your ID number, woman!”
His harsh tone brings you away from your memories, leaving you to wonder why they always come back when you least want them to.
“Here.” You hand the clipboard back to Hoseok, looking for a distraction. You settle on his messy handwriting that is barely eligible. Being a Korean native and citizen all his life, his Hangul can barely be described as that. It’s embarrassing when you consider all the practice he’s had. It looks more like random squiggles than ornate characters. You guess he’s spent more time shooting a gun than picking up a pencil. “Remember it next time.”
“I can’t even remember what I had for breakfast this morning.” He gives an offhand shrug, reaching for the clipboard.
“The blood of your enemies?” You arch an eyebrow, knowing what an evil man hides behind his boyish charm.
“No... that was too heavy for my stomach.” His rosy lips twitch into a devilish smirk. “I think I settled for something light instead like their crippling tears of pain or the air that came from their last breaths.”
“Repent for your sins and seek counsel in the name of the Lord.”
“Is that your way of saying I need Jesus?” Hoseok pinches your cheeks until they flush with a warm glow, giving you a smug little smile.
“You need much more than that.” You mutter underneath your breath, a soft sigh coming from your mouth.
“Are you gonna be the one to give it to me?” He winks at you, biting down on his bottom lip seductively.
You don’t even have time to roll your eyes before the secretary is letting you know that Dr. Kim is ready to see you now. Unfortunately, you’re not to ready to see him. Even with all this time spent in the waiting room, you haven’t been able to prepare yourself for what’s to come. Your heart is beating rapidly, your hands are clammy, and sweat drips down your forehead slowly. Thankfully, it’s concealed by the dark veil of your short bangs.
You wipe your hands against the fabric of your jeans, knowing you can’t walk into the lion’s den looking so vulnerable. You’re already the prey and he’s the predator. If you let yourself look weak, then the fight will be over before it’s even begun. That’s something you learned from Yoongi himself. If they can see a crack in your armor, then you might as well be bare.
Stepping toward the secretary who opens the door to his office, you only get so far before there’s pressure on your neck. Your hands seize up involuntarily, relaxing when you feel the collar there instead of somebody’s hands. You forgot all about it, expecting Hoseok to have taken it off already.
You turn around dramatically, your eyes bugging out of your head as if to say, “What the hell?”
“I’m just following Yoongi’s orders.” He happily walks forward with a pep in his step, following closely behind you like your shadow. It suddenly dawns on you that he’s going with you.
What about patient confidentiality?
You want to push him away, or extend a foot out to trip him, but he’s the calling the shots here. Complaining will only make him more determined. Jung Hoseok is the kind of guy that feeds off negative energy, spinning it into positive reinforcement instead. It just keeps him going and going...
“Aren’t you supposed to call him hyung?” You turn around to glare at him, putting your hands on your hips, deliberately moving at a snail’s pace. If he’s going to stay right behind you, then you’re going to walk like a grandma.
“Aren’t you supposed to call him oppa?” He counters with a sly sneer, putting an extra emphasis on the last word. Your cheeks turn red from embarrassment, making your combative attitude melt away.
The one and only time you used that title on Yoongi, he quickly asked you not to ever again. It was a common honorific title, but the way he reacted made it seem like it was degrading. It was like he didn’t want to be your oppa, not in any sense of the word. Not your friend, not your brother, and definitely not your boyfriend.
Hoseok knows that and he picked the perfect jab to silence you. He knows that guns and knives aren’t the only weapons out there. Words are weapons too. And sometimes they’re more powerful than any bullet or blade. Hoseok learned that firsthand when he was just a child. His mother took him to an amusement park on his birthday. He was only a small boy then, so he couldn’t get on many of the rides, but spending time with his mother was more fun anyway. His mother took him to a colorful carousel, one of the few rides he was big enough to get on at the time.
She left him waiting in the crowded line, saying she needed to get something from one of the concession stands.
“I’ll be right back baby.” She gave him a hesitant smile, squeezing his tiny hands reassuringly. Her gaze lingered on his soft face, and the innocence behind his eyes, but the sound of a nearby child crying broke her from the trance she was in.
“Okay, mommy.” Hoseok gave her a toothy grin, melted chocolate covering his adorable face, remnants of the candy bar she’d gotten him. “I’ll wait for you to come back!”
With that, she gave him one last pat on the head, and walked away from him. He watched her for a few seconds, but it wasn’t long before she got lost in the crowd of faces. Hoseok was only a few feet tall back then, so he couldn’t stare over their heads.
He didn’t worry though. He only waited like a good little boy, doing exactly what his mother asked him to.
He patiently waited for his mother to come back, but before long it was his turn to get on the carousel. Instead of getting on the ride, he went back to the end of line. Again and again. Seconds turned to minutes and minutes turned to hours. It wasn’t until the amusement park closed—when the sky had gone dark and the air cold—that he realized she wasn’t coming back. She never did.
“Are you okay, ____?” A fuzzy voice asks, becoming clearer with each word it speaks. It doesn’t take you long to realize it’s Hoseok.
“Sorry...” You scratch the back of your head awkwardly, blinking your eyes slowly to adjust to your surroundings. It’s all still the same as it was before, a bleak waiting room, still you can’t help but feel like something has changed.
You shake it off, deciding it’s likely because you spaced out again. It’s been happening a lot more lately and you attribute it to stress. You’ve always been the type to be stuck in their own head, constantly worrying about what could go wrong, and stressing over every little mundane thing that inconveniences you. However, these blackouts are becoming more frequent, stretching over longer periods of time. You hate to admit it, but maybe Yoongi is right. Maybe you do need checked out. Something isn’t right about all of this.
“Are you sure you’re okay?” Hoseok asks again, looking at you skeptically. If you were a little more naïve, you might mistake that look in his eyes for worry. But you know the only person he’s worried about is himself.
“I’m fine.” You tell a lie you’ve become used to telling. It’s quite believable now. “It just felt like I was somewhere else. I forgot where I was for a second.”
“Is that so?” A deep voice questions rhetorically, making your body go ridged. “That can’t be good.”
You know that voice. How could you forget it? It’s the same voice that told you something is very wrong with you.
Your eyes move upward hesitantly to see Namjoon standing in the doorway, towering over the rest of you, scribbling away on a notepad. You haven’t even been in his presence for five minutes and he’s already writing things down. Great.
Once he puts the pen down, he runs a hand through his perfectly groomed hair, fussing the light brown strands up. A moment passes before he lets out a deep sigh, finally gaining the courage to look in your direction.
“I was afraid this would happen.” He turns around before you can see the grim look on his face, leaving the door wide open for you to follow after him.
Your feet feel rooted to the ground, as if you’ve suddenly grown roots, keeping you from moving even an inch. It isn’t until Hoseok walks in front of you that you feel yourself starting to move and it’s only because he’s dragging you. You know he’s only taking you to Namjoon’s office, but you can’t shake the feeling you’re being dragged to the bowels of Hell.