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My Boyfriend is a Part-Time Tiger

Fandom: Speed, VIXX, 2NE1 (with cameos from various other groups, I think)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Warnings: None in this one I don't believe.
Previous Chapters: One, Two, Three, Four

Taewoon picked them up three days later in a small car. They got in, both in the back, because JongKook had started to have second thoughts about this whole thing. So much could go wrong….

But he trusted SeJoon, and he was starting to trust Taewoon. It would be fine.

They drove in silence, further into Seoul and then into the business district, to a narrow street lined with warehouses. They stopped in front of a construction zone, and Taewoon turned to look at them. "We're meeting someone here with the keys," he said. "He's not fond of Yoohwan, which is why he didn't come. Usually, I'd have brought him anyway, but LeeTeuk’s doing us a favor and right now I don't want to antagonize him. You have both met him. He was there when Detective Cha interviewed you."

"The camera guy?" SeJoon asked.

"Yep. LeeTeuk."

JongKook stared at them. "I don't remember a camera guy," he said.

"You were pretty dazed," Taewoon said. "I wouldn't be surprised if you were still feeling effects of the sedative they gave you."

"Oh. Okay." The car felt… no, he felt claustrophobic, and reached for the door. "Can I get out?"

"Of course," Taewoon said, and unlocked the doors. JongKook got out and looked around, comforted when SeJoon joined him. Nothing looked familiar, but then, it probably wouldn't. He'd never really seen the place. "Where do we go in?"

Taewoon got out and pointed at the construction site, and the trailer sitting on it, looking like any other mobile office he'd ever seen. "They have a trap door in the floor that leads down to the arena."

JongKook shivered. "Clever."

"Diabolical," SeJoon agreed, and sniffed widely at the air. "It's… they must have somehow cleaned the air, because nothing of this came in down there."

"It wouldn't surprise me," Taewoon said, turning to look down the road to where a car drove toward them. "They didn't want anyone getting out, and in case they did, they didn't want any chance of anything getting out to alert anyone where they were."

The car pulled up next to theirs and a thin man got out. He ducked in the back seat to grab his equipment, and then approached them. "This is them?" he said, his question aimed at Taewoon.

"You've met them," Taewoon said. "Shin JongKook and Park SeJoon. LeeTeuk, who will record and ask the questions this time."

"Follow me," LeeTeuk said, and they fell in behind them as he let them into the locked yard, and then into the office.

JongKook looked around. On the surface it looked perfectly normal, papers, phones, computers, even a copier and a couple of printers. Permits hung on the walls, looking as official as any others he'd ever seen.

A squeak made him turn, and he stared as Taewoon and SeJoon pulled up a piece of the floor, revealing a dark hole. Taewoon produced flashlights, and they went on down.

The room they stopped in looked vaguely familiar, and JongKook managed to find the lights to turn them on. "I was here once, unattended," he said, and grimaced. "If I'd known, I would have left, but I didn't know how to get out or even where I was."

It was the conference room he'd taken refuge in the one time he'd gotten out of the cell they'd put him in with SeJoon. He started out of it, lights turning on as he passed through the doors. Nice. Automatic. And still working.

SeJoon caught up and took his hand as they walked through the offices, looking just as official as the one upstairs. Jongkook gestured to one of the doors. "That’s the door to the cafeteria, where I ate when it was open. Usually just for lunch and dinner."

"Usually?" Taewoon asked.

"Yeah. Sometimes I didn't make it up for whatever reason, and they wouldn't give me enough for two meals. Orders, they said." He shrugged and went on, toward the dark tunnel a few feet away from the cafeteria. "It's dark down there," he said. "They didn't waste lights at all."

"It was more comfortable for us, mostly," SeJoon said, his hand holding JongKook's tightening for a bit. JongKook squeezed back, and they started down, the flashlights lighting the way.

It took longer than he remembered, but they came around the bend and JongKook slowed. "It was around here," he said, his voice shaking.

"No one is here," SeJoon said in his ear, arms around him.

"How do you know?"

"Nothing I smell is new," he said. "I smell things, I can tell people were here, and a lot of them for just a short time, but nothing's new. It's all musty."

JongKook looked at him, then nodded and they went on, down to the bottom floor. SeJoon tried the door to the arena and it opened under his hand. They stepped in, and SeJoon grimaced. "It feels weird to have shoes on in here," he said.

"Everything feels weird with shoes on," JongKook said. "And warmer." He rubbed his arms and followed SeJoon onto the sands. He looked around, trying to figure things out, trying to place everything. He found the ground floor observation booth, and the one up a floor, and took a deep breath. "It's just as bad as I remember," he said.

"I know, but you're here and you're facing it."

"How are you?" JongKook asked.

SeJoon breathed in deeply, and then let it out as he turned around in a circle. "I want to kill them," he said, his voice a low growl, still carrying clearly to Jongkook, curling in his ears. "I would take the greatest pleasure in rending them to pieces. And let their flesh go to waste. They don't deserve anything else."

JongKook shivered. He'd never heard SeJoon talk like that, but he couldn't deny it as part of his boyfriend's nature. He loved the feral part of him, and this was part of that. He might not understand it, but that was okay. He looked up to see SeJoon watching him. "I don't think I could watch it," he said, "but I'd support you in that."

SeJoon strode across the sand and kissed him deeply. "You are amazing."

JongKook laughed at him. "What? Me? I'm just a person. You had to be forced to tell me what you really were, and how could I not love the tiger as much as you?"

SeJoon grinned at him. "I would have gotten around to it. I just… didn't know how."

"And the longer you took, the less likely it would be that I would be able to say no to you if you said you wanted to stick together."

"Well, yes, that, too," SeJoon said, and kissed him again. "Ready to get out of here?"

"Yes," JongKook said, and they left the arena again.

Taewoon and LeeTeuk met them outside. LeeTeuk looked uncomfortable. JongKook didn't know why, only that he could see it. He decided it didn't matter. If he chose not to tell them, they couldn't do anything about it.

"Can we see your cell?" Taewoon asked.

JongKook shuddered, but he'd known they'd ask that. "Yeah," he said. "Come on. I… don't want to go in," he added, when they started up the ramp. "I'd just rather not take the chance."

"Understandable," Taewoon said, and JongKook took SeJoon's hand again, relaxing a little.

"There's a light in there," SeJoon said as they stopped at the door to their cell. "They conceded that much to JongKook's needs."

"Good," Taewoon said, and he and LeeTeuk went in. JongKook leaned against SeJoon and watched them move around, checking everything, the camera recording it all. After a while, longer than JongKook could have believed, they came back out.

"Okay, I have a few questions," LeeTeuk said. "It'll be a lot like what Detective Cha asked you, but this will be more of a walk-through, so we can see these places, see what you dealt with."

JongKook took a deep breath. "Okay," he said. "Fire away."

It took forever. LeeTeuk might seem nervous around them, but he went through every step of their day, everything that happened to them, every person they encountered. They went up and down the ramp constantly, but it helped, moving helped, and JongKook managed to keep his head and everything together as long as they were down there.

LeeTeuk was also thorough, and JongKook developed a grudging respect for him. He didn't seem to like them, didn't care what had happened, but he did care about the evidence and brought out everything.

Finally, he declared himself satisfied. "Thank you," he said, bowing stiffly to them. "If you've had enough of this place, we can go."

"Please," JongKook said, and led the way up with SeJoon right behind. He didn't stop until he'd gotten out of the mobile office and onto firm ground.

"Are you okay?" SeJoon asked, standing behind him, arms around him.

"Yeah," he said. "You?"

"Expecting nightmares," SeJoon admitted.

"Yeah," JongKook said, and turned to face him. "Good thing we have each other, eh?"

SeJoon grinned. "Absolutely," he said.

JongKook laughed softly and kissed him. "Thank you."

Taewoon came out after them, speaking quietly with LeeTeuk, who nodded at them and got in his car to go. Taewoon joined them. "You guys did great," he said. "He doesn't show it often, but you guys gave him a lot. He has some serious footage to go through, and he will get it set up so it's easy to get through. It was dark, but that camera is the best."

"Good. As long as we don't have to do that again," JongKook said.

"Not as far as I know," Taewoon said. "Come on. I'll buy you dinner and as much alcohol as you can stand, if you want it."

JongKook gave him a smile. "That… I may take you up on," he said.

Once in the car, still with JongKook and SeJoon together in the back seat, they took off from the site. No one said anything until they got to the busier streets, and JongKook realized just how hungry he was. Taewoon found them a place - something that looked good - and ushered them both in. "Yes," he said at SeJoon's look. “I know you eat a lot."

SeJoon laughed.

"I have a question for you," Taewoon said as they tucked into the food the waiter had brought.

JongKook looked up at him. "Hopefully not as hard as the last one," he said.

Taewoon grinned. "I don't think so," he said.

"Shoot," SeJoon said.

"Would you mind too much if I moved in with you guys? Yoohwan and I, I should say."

JongKook looked up at him, his hands stilling. "You want…."

"You've made the place livable, and our lease is up soon."

SeJoon swallowed his bite, looking as surprised as JongKook did. "You don't want us to go?" he asked.

"No, why would I want that? It's a huge house, that's why Jiho had so many people there. I don't know what you guys might have found while you cleaned, and I really don't want to. You've done a lot of work, and I would be ungrateful if I kicked you out and you didn't have the chance to enjoy the fruits of your labors. Besides, it's too big for just Yoohwan and I to keep up."

JongKook tore his eyes away from Taewoon, barely able to believe their luck, and looked at SeJoon. He could see the answer in his boyfriend's eyes. "Yeah. I mean, no, that wouldn't be a problem. We don't mind." His words tumbled out, stumbling over each other.

Taewoon laughed. "Okay, great," he said. "I'll see when the best time is for us to move in, and what is the best time for you as well."

"We'll need to know where you'll live, and what rooms you want to use," SeJoon said. "We'll move those up to the top of the list."

"Oh, yeah, right," JongKook said.

"Thank you," Taewoon said.

"You're welcome," JongKook said. "Thank you."

Not that they could actually tell him no, not after how generous he'd been - they'd seen the reduction of the bills they got from Chaerin, and could only guess that he'd paid some of their bills. JongKook knew that he'd brought some of the meat over that SeJoon had gorged on, leaving him lethargic for a couple of days before giving him a boost in energy. It helped to have that cycle to remind them to rest.

"It's the least I could do," Taewoon said.

JongKook couldn't argue with him, but he really wanted to.

And, back home, they talked it over as they rearranged their list, curled together on the couch. "It's… it's like we went from one unreal world to another," JongKook said, checking over the list SeJoon held.

SeJoon kissed his temple. "From hell to paradise, yeah? Without the trip through limbo like Dante took."

"Something like that," JongKook said. "Although that stay with my parents was a lot like limbo."

SeJoon laughed. "Yeah, I guess it was," he said. "And now we're here, and we have so much we can do…."

"And feel needed," JongKook said. "Which is part of what I want. And make a difference."

"Yes," SeJoon said. "A big difference."

Having a goal got them moving. They worked harder than they had before, still taking naps, and got farther with the house than they had before. Already feeling better, they were able to get most of the hardest stuff done fairly quickly, while still taking the breaks they needed.

On the day of the move, JongKook and SeJoon began in the kitchen and cleaned like the place hadn't had it since they moved in. It didn't take long, as they'd kept it up, but they wanted the extra touch for the two moving in.

The afternoon passed quickly as they moved Taewoon and Yoohwan in. SeJoon and Jongkook paused to take a much-needed nap. While they did, they could still hear Taewoon and Yoohwan moving their things around. By the time they quit for dinner, most of the furniture was in place, and the kitchen had a wider variety of cutlery and dishes and pans, most of them in better shape. JongKook glanced around the whole place and had to smile. "It does look better," he said.

"Yes," SeJoon said. "You still up for making dinner?"

"Yep. I'll go get started, unless you want to help."

"I'm always good with helping," SeJoon said.

"I don't want to see any of the food going into your mouth," JongKook warned, and laughed at SeJoon's pout.

Half an hour later, Yoohwan appeared in the kitchen. "That smells amazing," he said, standing in the doorway between the kitchen and the formal dining room. "How much longer?"

"Maybe ten minutes," JongKook told him, turning to smile at him. "Settled in?"

"Almost," Yoohwan said. "I'm further along than Taewoon. He's got the office to unpack still."

"He can do that tomorrow," JongKook said, and reached behind him with the spoon to smack SeJoon's hand. SeJoon yelped and snatched his hand away from the bowl, backing away.

Yoohwan grinned at him. "I'll let him know he's got ten minutes. I think I'm going to grab a shower, too."

"Enjoy," JongKook said, and turned back to his dinner.

"That wasn't fair." SeJoon pouted at him.

"I told you not to sneak anything," JongKook pointed out, grinning. "Will you set the table?"

SeJoon gave him one last pout, then grinned, have him a quick kiss, and went to do as he asked.

By the time Taewoon and Yoohwan came down, looking refreshed and newly showered, dinner was set out on the table, and they all sat down to eat.

It had been odd to hear SeJoon setting the table and to hear the water running upstairs, the creak of the floor as Taewoon moved around. JongKook knew it would take a while for him to get used to the idea of the others there, especially on the days he forgot, but he also thought he wouldn't mind. It'd take a time of adjustment, but they had that time, and he actually looked forward to it.

"You're deep in thought," Taewoon said, poking his shoulder.

Jongkook jumped, and then looked sheepish. "Just thinking about getting used to having you guys here," he said.

"Do you think it'll be hard?"

"No," JongKook said. "I think it'll be nice. This place really needs more people. It echoes sometimes."

"Only when I roar," SeJoon said.

"As if," JongKook shot back, and they shared a grin.

It didn't take much to shoo the other two out of the kitchen after dinner, either, and they cleaned up in silence. "Do you really look forward to it?" SeJoon asked, putting the last of the dishes into the drainer.

"Yeah," JongKook said, taking it to dry. "I do. I think it'll be weird, and we're going to have to take the time to do it, but it'll be fun. It'll be nice to have other people here." He took a deep breath. "It means that I don't have to worry about someone taking off with you if I'm in town trying to find a job."

SeJoon hugged him, accidentally-on-purpose brushing his nose with soap suds. "I'm more worried about someone taking off with you while you're out there."

JongKook snorted and elbowed him away. "I don't think so," he said.

SeJoon laughed and went to drain the sink.

"It's kind of surreal," JongKook said, nestled next to SeJoon in their bed later that night. They could hear water running, could hear the other two getting ready for bed as well.

"It's louder," SeJoon agreed. "Surreal is a good word for it. Everything has been surreal."

"Even me?" JongKook asked.

"You're the most normal person here, so yeah, you're the most surreal."

"You don't make any sense," JongKook protested. "I'm the most normal, so I'm the most surreal?"

"Yeah. I mean, Taewoon is definitely human, and as far as I can tell, he doesn't do anything with magic, but he's not anything I would call normal. You, on the other hand, are so normal it's kind of funny that we even met." SeJoon's words slowed, sounding contemplative.

"Yeah, well, I'm glad we did," JongKook said. "I can't imagine my life without you, even with the nightmare of the last few months."

SeJoon kissed him. "I have to say the same," he said.

Sleep came slowly, but eventually they did manage to get some sleep.

It still felt weird the next morning. SeJoon gave JongKook a grin and shifted, following JongKook downstairs in tiger form.

It was surreal - a really good word - that the two of them didn't even react to having a tiger there. Yoohwan, in fact, looked at JongKook. "Does he mind if someone pets him?"

JongKook stared at him. "I… don't know. He's never bitten me."

Yoohwan gave him a look, and JongKook raised an eyebrow. "You're not exactly the most normal in this case."

SeJoon snorted softly, and JongKook grinned. "Oh, I don't know, he seemed to think I was the most normal of the four of us."

"No, you can't call Taewoon normal by any stretch of the imagination."

"Hey. I'm right here, you know," Taewoon protested.

"Yes, or I wouldn't have said it," Yoohwan said serenely, and then petted SeJoon when the white tiger nudged his arm. "He's just a big cat anyway, isn't he."

"Pretty much, I think," JongKook said. "I've never had a cat, so I can't really answer that."

Taewoon rolled his eyes. "Does he do this a lot?"

"I don't know," JongKook said, going into the kitchen. "I've never lived with him and other people before. Or even with him in a normal situation, which didn't include recovering from being in a cell."

Yoohwan chuckled. "Don't ask stupid questions," he said to Taewoon, who rolled his eyes.

SeJoon padded for the back door and JongKook went to let him out, feeling like this surreality of this could become a normal he liked a lot.

Possibly the best part of having SeJoon and JongKook in his house, Taewoon thought, setting himself in the kitchen to intercept Chaerin as she came in from talking to them, was that Chaerin came to visit. Never for him, but then… he'd take what he could get. "Hey," he said, and she stopped and smiled at him. He could look at that smile forever. "How are they doing?"

"Not too bad. Chafing because SeJoon can’t do anything. I understand, because i’d be the same in these conditions, and I'm not half tiger. He's got some anger buried inside, too, and I have no idea when or if it'll come out. I don't even know who it's aimed at, only that it's not JongKook."

Taewoon straightened. "What do I need to do?"

"Watch him, see who he might want to go off on. And then arrange for that confrontation. It will include getting JongKook out of the house, I suspect. He does have a calming effect, but I'm not sure it's a good thing right now. SeJoon needs to let off steam, and I think he might be afraid of scaring JongKook off."

Taewoon nodded. "Any suggestions for protective gear?"

Chaerin laughed. "I'd have said JongKook except that I just told you to get rid of him if you could."

Taewoon shook his head. "Okay, then… just do whatever and hopes he doesn't take any heads or other important extremities off."

"Exactly. I don't think he will, because most were-tigers have amazing powers of self control, but he's under stress. Be careful."

"I'll do my best," Taewoon said.

They parted, and Taewoon leaned against the counter again, thinking about that. Was it really that bad? Well, he could think of a few people SeJoon might be angry with, and he'd do what he could. He wanted these two to work with, and he needed them as sane as he could help them become.

The person SeJoon wanted to talk to became obvious almost immediately. Taewoon caught more than one angry look in his direction, often eased with a touch from JongKook.

Not that he'd doubted her, but Chaerin was right. SeJoon needed to let off steam, and Taewoon would have to get JongKook out of the house. He picked up the phone and gave Yoohwan a call.

Within a few minutes, JongKook's phone rang, and Taewoon listened as he answered it. After a minute, JongKook came into the kitchen. "Hey, Yoohwan says he's got a place for me to apply for a job. He says to ask if you need me to pick up anything."

Taewoon gave him the list he'd made earlier. "Thanks," he said. "See you later, and good luck."

JongKook grinned at him, tucked the list into a pocket and ran upstairs. He came back down five minutes later, dressed a bit more for an interview. "See you later! Be good, SeJoon," he added as he put his shoes on.

"Oh, you did not just say that," SeJoon said, joining him at in the foyer.

Jongkook grinned and kissed him. "Yep, I did. See you later!" He ducked out the door.

Taewoon started to put some things together for dinner, getting ready for when JongKook came back with the rest of the things he needed. He wanted to have something to do so that SeJoon wouldn't know he was waiting for him.

"Got a minute?" SeJoon asked from the kitchen doorway. He sounded tense, like he was about to break.

Taewoon looked at him, then set everything down and washed his hands off. "Yeah. Where?"

SeJoon shifted his feet, then gestured toward the open family room. His movements were short, curt, his words clipped. "There's good as any, since I suspect you don't want the neighbors to hear this."

"You planning on yelling?"

"Yeah," SeJoon said, and followed Taewoon into the room.

Taewoon sat down in one of the old chairs. "Okay, shoot."

SeJoon paced, looking like a tiger in a cage, although Taewoon wouldn't tell him that. "What took you so long to find us? I mean, I know I was gone a week before JongKook disappeared, and then he was gone for months. How did that happen? It couldn't have been that hard to find us, not really, not with all the tigers disappearing. Do you know what they did to him? He got hit, I worried once that he'd ever get to use his arm again, Dongil twisted it so badly. He tried so hard to keep from letting me know how often he cried once I'd gone to sleep. He tried so hard to be brave for me, and he was just not… I mean, he was, but he didn't have to do that, and I couldn't even tell him, because I couldn't do anything. I was trying to protect him, and he was trying to protect me, and it was such a mess…." He fell silent, pacing even faster now.

Taewoon felt like he shouldn't have sat down and squashed it. SeJoon needed to be in charge right now. "I tried…."

SeJoon waved him to silence with a curt chopping motion, "It wasn't just that," he went on. "I couldn't even help him when he got hurt, I couldn't… I felt like the worst person in the world because I couldn't help him, and he needed it, needed something. You have no idea how surprised I am that he stuck with me, didn't kick me out as soon as we got free and he got out of the hospital. Earlier, even." He shook his head, and then stopped and looked right at Taewoon. "What took you so long?"

Taewoon swallowed at the ice in SeJoon's eyes. "We looked as hard as we could," he said, his voice firm. "We followed everything we found. But there were just three of us, and then when JongKook vanished, just two. It's not an excuse," he said, when SeJoon tossed his head and looked like he wanted to say something. "Those are the facts. We couldn't even use the sorcerer we had when we got you out, because he was up to his eyebrows in another case. We looked, we did the best we could. I'm sorry," he added after a moment. "I just… I can't say anything more. I am sorry. That's part of why I wanted you here until you thought you could take care of yourselves."

"But only part."

"Only part," Taewoon agreed.

SeJoon stared at him, then started pacing again. "We want to help."

Which was the other reason, but Taewoon didn't say that out loud. "Help?"

"Get them. Mr. Han and Dongil. Put them away where they can't do this again, to anyone."

"You don't think they're done?"

SeJoon snorted, sounding a lot like his tiger half. "No way they're done," he said. "Not by a long shot. Why would they be? No one's stopped them yet, this is just a glitch, a temporary setback. I bet you'd find that Han was working in China, too, and got exiled for it."

Taewoon couldn't blame him for the bitterness in his voice. "I'd do more than just stop them, if I had the chance," he said evenly. "So you want to help. JongKook, too?"

For the first time, SeJoon slowed, looking hesitant. "Yes," he said. "But with the option of getting out. He's not… he's still wary about this all."

"I can't blame him." Taewoon stood up. "It'd be good to have you two with us when they set up again. And yes," he added. "If it gets too bad, he can get out, without worrying about any repercussions." He noticed again how all of SeJoon’s worry and concern centered around JongKook. It drove home even more just how alone he was.

SeJoon relaxed so completely that his legs nearly went out under him. "Thank you," he said, and sat down in the chair next to him.

"You're welcome," Taewoon said, and escaped to hide the tightness in his chest.

SeJoon knew exactly how lucky he was, and Taewoon did, too. He couldn't hide his jealousy much longer, so he left, going up to his room until he could manage to keep his emotions in check.

He didn't go back down until he'd heard SeJoon come upstairs. Then he went back down to finish the prep work for dinner.

JongKook walked in, kicked off his shoes, and took the bags he carried into the kitchen. Taewoon gestured to one of the counters but didn't turn away from what he worked on. "How did it go?" he asked. He sounded… odd, but JongKook didn’t have time or energy to figure it out. Maybe later.

"I don't know," JongKook said, trying to hide his discontent and exhaustion. "It's something I could do, but I'm not sure I want to. Do you know where SeJoon is?"

"Last I heard, he went upstairs," Taewoon said, glancing at him briefly. "I haven't heard any moving around up there."

"Thanks," JongKook said, and went upstairs.

He found SeJoon crashed on their bed, white fur glowing in the light of the sun. They'd moved the bed so that in the afternoon the sun would warm it. SeJoon loved to lay in the sunlight. JongKook lay down, enjoying the sun as much, and pillowed his head on SeJoon's side. He could hear the tiger breathe, feel his heartbeat, and it helped to chase away his negative feelings. He couldn't find anything he really wanted to do, and it made him restless. Laying like this helped a lot, oddly enough.

He'd dozed off when SeJoon snuffled at his face, and JongKook sluggishly moved off him, just enough that SeJoon could get up if he wanted to. JongKook could tell when his boyfriend shifted, and seconds later, he spooned behind JongKook, an arm around him. "You awake?"

"Sorta," JongKook said. "Why?"

"How did Taewoon look when you got home?"

That woke JongKook, and he thought about it. "I don't know," he said. "He didn't look at me."

"He didn't?" SeJoon rumbled. "Huh. He looked sort of upset when I left him."

JongKook turned to face him. "Did you talk to him?" he asked.


"What about?"

"About why it took them so long to find us," SeJoon said. "And… I asked him if he'd let us help when they went after Han and Dongil."

"You asked?" JongKook said, not sure how to feel about that. They'd talked about it, sure, but he hadn't expected SeJoon to mention it to Taewoon. Not without him there.

"Yeah," SeJoon said. "I had to make sure that he wouldn't… that he knew I wouldn't let them make you do something you didn't want to."

"I wanted to be there," JongKook said. "I wanted to tell him, too."

SeJoon kissed him. "I'm sorry," he said. "I just… I couldn't let him think that pushing you into anything was okay."

JongKook sighed, and smiled. It was done, and it really didn't matter all that much, right? "I hope you didn't hurt him too badly."

"I didn't even growl at him," SeJoon said, and relaxed. "How was your trip. Any luck?"

"No. I mean, I could work there if I had to, but I… don't want to."

"I know," SeJoon said. "I think I'm going to go insane."

"Not able to go out?" JongKook asked.

"It's okay, I mean, doing the renovations help to keep from going insane, but the tiger is bored and restless, which makes me restless."

JongKook kissed him. "I bet it does," he said, pressing closer. "I'll see what I can come up with in the future, but right now, is there anything I can do to help your tiger get a little less restless?"

SeJoon smiled, that hint of feralness in his eyes that took JongKook's breath away. "Yes," he said, "I think you can."

It took JongKook a couple of days to set up what he wanted to do, put together something that might help SeJoon. He had to go through Chaerin, to make sure she thought it would work out. In the end, though, he came home from a short excursion with a large crate in his arms. He didn't kick off his shoes, going straight through to the back yard. "SeJoon!" he called as he went.

"In the back," SeJoon called back, and JongKook grinned. He pulled the door open and set the crate on the table out there, the one they still needed to finish before it was fit for anything but what he used it for now.

"What's that?" SeJoon asked.

JongKook smiled. "It's something to help your tiger from going insane," he said, and opened the crate. He glanced at SeJoon, who watched him in curiosity, his previous ennui forgotten.

"Like what?" SeJoon asked.

JongKook lifted out a chicken. "It's not much, but Chaerin said it wouldn't hurt you, and I promised Taewoon I'd clean up any feathers you left." He set it down, and the chicken squawked and took off across the porch.

SeJoon watched it go, and if he'd had a tail in this form, it'd be twitching. "It's okay?"

"I checked," JongKook repeated, reached in, and pulled out a second chicken. "I'll have to do all the hard work, so you don't have to worry."

SeJoon flashed him a grin and leaped off the porch, changing before he landed on all fours to go after the chickens.

JongKook grinned and sat down to watch, resting his elbows on his knees and propping his chin in his hands. SeJoon looked better, looked like he must have before Han and Dongil got to him. After a while, JongKook went in to gather the bags he'd need to clean up and to wash his hands.

When he came back out, SeJoon came up the steps, licking his lips and looking pleased. "Nice?" JongKook asked.

SeJoon rumbled a purr and plopped down on top of the stairs. JongKook sat down next to him, and before he could even make sure he was comfortable, he had a lap full of tiger head. JongKook laughed softly and petted him, checking as well as he could to make sure nothing had gotten injured. Chaerin would kill him if something had happened and he didn't call her.

But SeJoon looked clean, like the only blood on his fur came from the chickens, and nothing felt hot or swollen. "Looks like it was a good idea," he said, his fingers buried in SeJoon's ruff, scratching behind his ear.

"I figured it would be," Taewoon said, and JongKook twisted to look at him. "He was looking bored."

"Yeah. I know. I just… don't think I want to clean up feathers every day. I would, if we don't come up with something else, but I don't want to."

Taewoon nodded and sat down next to him. "You could have him chase you."

"He'd catch me way too fast," JongKook said.

"So, dodge."

JongKook looked down at SeJoon, who looked completely asleep. "Let him try to catch me, but not exactly run from him?"

"Yeah, something like that. Something that would, you know, let him play."

"You could get him a swimming pool."

Taewoon laughed and stood up. "That would take too long. You could just let him try to catch you."

"I'll talk to him," JongKook said. "Thanks for this, by the way."

"You're welcome," Taewoon said. His hand brushed JongKook's shoulder as he went back inside.

So much could happen between now and the time Dongil and Han came back, but he hoped a couple of things wouldn't change. He had a boyfriend he didn't want to lose, and a couple of new friends he wanted to keep for the rest of his life.

He finally got up, carefully slipping out from under SeJoon's head, and grabbed the trash bags to clean up the feathers. He crouched down to pick them up - at least SeJoon hadn't scattered them everywhere - and began to transfer them into the bag. He'd nearly finished with the whole yard, bending over to get a couple of feathers, when something nudged him in the rear. Off balance, he rolled to his feet and turned around. "SeJoon?"

The tiger purred at him.

"Give me a sec, I'm almost done," JongKook said, and went after the feather he'd missed.

SeJoon nudged him again, and he went over this time, flat on the ground. He turned over to look at his boyfriend in surprise, and then scrambled to his feet, his eyes lighting up. "AH, so you want to play," he said. "Well, okay,"

The game didn't last long, but JongKook hadn't expected it to. Eventually, though, SeJoon knocked him over and then crouched over him to keep him from getting up. JongKook pushed at him, but gave up pretty fast. He couldn't argue with a 500 lb tiger.

He didn't expect the lick up his face, from chin to forehead. "Ew, SeJoon, that's gro…."

Another lick interrupted him, and he covered his face with his hands. SeJoon nudged them, trying to get his nose under his hand, but JongKook managed to keep him away from his face, and finally, the tiger got up and walked away. JongKook finished with the feathers, then joined him on the porch. In spite of his disappointment, SeJoon didn't seem to mind when JongKook sat next to him to pet him again.

When SeJoon got up again, he paused, and then, without warning, licked JongKook's face again.

"Ew, SeJoon!" he protested, and although he knew tigers didn't laugh, he would have sworn his boyfriend was laughing as he walked away.


Mar. 5th, 2016 09:39 pm (UTC)
Poor Taewoon, pining over Chaerin... And ew, Sejoon. Yuck. LOL

Idk tho. I don't think I'd be happy with that explanation, even if it's the real deal. But I'm just awkward like that.
Mar. 7th, 2016 10:22 pm (UTC)
I really couldn't resist, you know? Thanks for reading!

I don't know what you're referring to, with the explanation thing?

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