Rating: NC-17 (This chapter PG-13)
Characters: Super Junior, with SHINee & SNSD in supporting roles & other KPop artists in minor/cameo roles
Pairings: Main focus on Siwon/Heechul, with numerous side pairings. (This chapter: mentioned Yesung/Ryeowook)
Genre: Action, drama, some angst. OrganizedCrime!AU.
Summary: Henry answers a wanted ad for a musician and stumbles headlong into a world of crime, violence, betrayal and sex. If only he'd known his prospective employer was one of the biggest underground crime rings in Seoul, maybe he wouldn’t have gone to the audition.
Notes & Warnings: AU, violence, foul language, prostitution, explicit sex. Further warnings will be noted in future chapters as necessary.
Disclaimers & Author’s Notes | Ch1 | Ch2
Sunlight streaming through Ryeowook’s east-facing windows woke both of the figures on the rumpled, stained bed. After Ryeowook’s overnight client left, he got dressed in comfortable clothes with the intention of heading down to the kitchen to make breakfast. He was in the process of stripping the sheets from his bed - last night had gotten a bit messy - when he lifted his pillow and spotted the USB memory stick, sitting innocuously on the sheets.
Thinking fast, he turned the pillow so it blocked the camera from seeing the memory stick. He leaned over and pulled the fitted sheet away from the mattress, scooping up the flash drive at the same time and tucking it into his pocket.
He continued what he had been doing, but his half-awake, routine thoughts had been replaced with fluttery nerves. Why had he thought saying yes to Kyuhyun was a good idea? Ryeowook had never been good at lying or being sneaky, he was totally going to get caught!
Wookie finished stripping his bed and tossed the sheets in a pile on the floor distractedly, his worries chasing themselves in circles in his mind. Moving on autopilot, he opened his closet to get out a fresh set of sheets.
He stopped. Staring at him from the inside of his closet door was the only photo of Jongwoon he had.
Heenim didn’t like cameras in the Den. He didn’t want patrons or staff taking pictures inside, in case something incriminating showed up in one. But one of the few times Jongwoon had taken him on a real date, they’d gone to an amusement park and had a wonderful time, and near the end of the day, they’d ended up at one of those cheesy photo booths.
The photo was cheap, the ink already starting to fade, but Jongwoon’s face was lit up in a rare, real smile, with Ryeowook tucked against his side and laying a staged kiss on Jongwoon’s pale cheek. Cartoony hearts and fat little bow-wielding Cupids framed the photo. It was cutesy and cheesy and Ryeowook’s favorite thing in the world, and looking at it, Ryeowook came to a realization.
He wasn’t going to question this anymore. Once he was in, there was no going back, and he had to be prepared to commit. So he would just keep reminding himself that he was doing this for Jongwoon, for their future together, and he would man up and do whatever it took.
With his mind made up, the butterflies in his gut quieted somewhat. He quickly re-made his bed, gathered up his sheets and his clothes from the night before, and carried them down the hall to the laundry chute in the escort’s shared bathroom. Then he headed downstairs to make breakfast.
The next hour or so was fairly uneventful. Wookie made breakfast, and as usual, one by one the escorts made their way down the stairs to the kitchen to partake. Key was the only one who didn’t show, but Siwon stopped by for a moment, grabbing a pastry before heading out to his day job. Heechul followed a few minutes later, and to Wookie’s surprise, Donghae was with him.
Of all of the Dragons, Donghae spent less time in the Den than any of the others, including Shindong. He spent most of his time with his gang of street toughs, which was a shame, really, because when Donghae relaxed and wasn’t playing the part of Heechul’s ass-kicking enforcer, he was a lot of fun to have around.
Jessica was the only one of the escorts still sitting at the table, and she asked, “Is something wrong?”
“We have an errand to run this morning,” Heechul told her shortly. “Pass the word around - family meeting today. I want all the staff here by 4. And tell Kangin to call a Dragon meeting at 3.”
Ryeowook kept his head down, pretending to be very fascinated with the cooking he was doing. He had a feeling he knew exactly what the meeting was going to be about.
Donghae, who was standing in the doorway watching the empty main room, held up a finger to get Heechul’s attention. He silently indicated the balcony with a jerk of his head.
Heechul nodded and ran a hand over his hair, fixing the nonexistent messy bits. “We’ll be back after lunch.”
Donghae and Heechul went out into the main room. Jessica caught Ryeowook’s eye, and as one they moved to the door and peeked through the crack. Heechul was talking to Key’s client, who looked hungover and groggy and a little bit too young to be buying a prostitute, honestly. Heechul had his flirty, charming persona on, and Donghae beside him was smiling disarmingly. They were speaking too lowly to be clearly heard.
“Who’s that?” Jessica asked under her breath.
Ryeowook shook his head. “I don’t know,” he said. “I’ve never seen him before.”
“He must be someone important,” Jessica guessed. Wookie nodded, watching as Key gave the client a flirty good-bye kiss on the cheek. Then Heechul took his arm and led him outside, Donghae trailing behind.
Key came in to get breakfast. “Anyone know why Heenim is so interested in my client?”
Ryeowook shook his head. Jessica sighed in annoyance. “We were hoping you could tell us.”
“He said something about needing to meet with the family.” Key shrugged. “Oh well. I’m starved!”
He and Jessica fell into a lively, snarky conversation about the previous night’s clients while Ryeowook (finally, after more than an hour of cooking) fixed himself a plate and sat down to eat. He idly listened to them chitchat for a couple of minutes, eating and trying to figure out exactly how he was going to pull off the job he was given without arousing suspicion.
Kangin’s voice behind him made him jump guiltily. “Hey, got any more of that?”
Heart pounding, Wookie silently got up to fix another plate. He didn’t trust himself to speak right then, knowing he would be stuttery and high-pitched. Reminding himself that Kangin had no reason to suspect him, and that he hadn’t even done anything wrong yet, Ryeowook set the plate on the table.
“Oh, Kangin-oppa, Heenim wants you to call in the wait staff at four today,” Jessica said in between laughing at Key’s anecdotes. “Family meeting.”
“Aish,” Kangin muttered. “I don’t have time to call every member of the wait staff, I have a shipment to pick up.”
Ryeowook saw his opportunity and jumped on it before he could chicken out. “I can do it, hyung,” he said. “The contact list is on your computer, right?”
Kangin looked at him in surprise. “Would you?” he asked. “I could call Sunny and have her do it...”
Giving him his best cheerful-little-boy smile, Ryeowook waved a dismissive hand. It was shaking; he immediately tucked it under the table in his lap to disguise the tremors. “It’s okay, hyung,” he said. “Don’t bother her on her time off. I have nothing to do this morning anyway. Just log me on and show me where the list is and I’ll take care of it.”
He had to fight not to hold his breath as he waited for Kangin’s response. He needn’t have worried; Kangin just shrugged and said “Sure. Just let me finish breakfast.”
Ryeowook nodded. He looked down at his own plate and decided he was done eating; nerves were making him feel queasy. He gathered up some of the dirty dishes and started washing up.
After that, Key and Jessica’s conversation was considerably more subdued. Kangin didn’t give the escorts trouble, usually preferring to just let them be, but it was always very clear that he wasn’t comfortable hearing about their exploits. His knowledge of their job was abstract and that was how he liked it; and out of respect for his wishes no one discussed the prostitution side of the Dragons’ business in his presence. So it was quiet in the room as the three finished eating, and there was little to distract Wookie’s mind from running in circles around what he was about to do.
Nervous and distracted, he wasn’t as coordinated as usual, and the end result was the loud smash of shattered ceramic as a plate slipped out of his wet hands and onto the floor. Horrified, Wookie started stuttering apologies, casting his mind around frantically for an excuse other than I’m about to betray my hyungs and it’s making me twitchy.
Key was instantly at Wookie’s side, cleaning up the mess and somehow managing to scold him, reassure him and ask him if he was feeling alright in the same breath. His doting hovering made Kangin laugh and Jessica roll her eyes good-naturedly, and it made Wookie feel slightly calmer and even guiltier simultaneously.
“I’m fine, umma,” he said with a small smile. Key smacked him on the shoulder in response to the familiar teasing nickname. “Just had a long night last night.”
“Yah, then why the heck are you up at the buttcrack of dawn feeding everyone?” Key scolded. “You sleep in tomorrow, I’ll cook for these bums.”
Jessica pouted and started complaining that Key never gave her the morning off, to which Key pointed out that she was a horrible cook anyway so she had every morning off. Leaving them to bitch at each other, Kangin put his dishes in the sink and signalled for Ryeowook to follow him, through the locked back room door and into his office.
“Here,” he said, quickly logging into his computer. “The contact list is right on my desktop. Make sure you make a note of anyone you can’t get through to; if someone doesn’t show up Heechul will want to know why.”
Ryeowook nodded and took a seat in the computer chair, his nerves back in full force. Kangin said, “Okay, I’ll be downtown picking up the liquor shipment. Give me a call if you need anything.”
And then he was gone, and Wookie was alone with the computer.
He quickly glanced around, taking stock of his surroundings. The surveillance camera was aimed at the safe on Wookie’s right, but the screen was angled such that the camera could see what was happening on it. That wasn’t good. On the plus side, the desk had built-in USB ports that connected to the tower underneath; that meant he could plug in the flash drive without crawling under the desk. A plan started to form.
Wookie reached into his pocket and pulled out his cell phone instead of using the desk phone. He concealed the flash drive in the same hand, hiding it from the camera. Then he stood, leaning over to turn the monitor to the right so the screen would not be visible on surveillance, and plugged the flash into the USB port while his body was between the desk ports and the camera. Putting on his best totally-relaxed face, he sat down and slung his bare feet up onto the desk quickly, leaning back in the office chair like a bored executive in a daytime soap opera. His legs blocked the USB port from the camera’s view, and he was angled such that his moving the monitor made sense (and hopefully didn’t look suspicious).
He opened the flash drive and saw only one file - “runme.exe”. He clicked it and a plain white-on-black command window popped up, with the text running... While he waited, he pulled up the contact list and forced himself not to keep glancing nervously at the camera.
He had called Sunny, Jonghyun and two of the waitresses before the command window text changed to install complete. He closed the window and continued doing the job he was ostensibly there to do.
When he’d gotten through to all of the staff - except Henry, whose number was not on the list yet, but that was okay since he was supposed to come in to practice with Yesungie anyway - he stood up, pulling the flash out of the port in the same movement, and pocketed it along with his cell phone. A quick look at the computer showed nothing out of the ordinary, so he logged off and left the office, making sure the back room door locked securely behind him.
He made it upstairs to the escorts’ bathroom - one of the only rooms in the Den with no cameras - before he allowed himself to break down, the adrenaline which had gotten him through that nerve-wracking experience leaving his body in a rush that made him collapse to the cold tile floor in giddy exhaustion. He took a few moments to just breathe.
When he’d gotten himself put mostly back together, he sent a quick text to Kyuhyun.
Donghae pulled up to the Shin compound and rolled down his window to speak with the guard. “Hi there,” he said, smiling cheerfully. “Kim Heechul and Lee Donghae to see Shin Soohyun. We’re bringing Dongho-ssi home.”
The guard gave them a suspicious look and craned his neck to see Dongho slouched in the back seat. He ducked his head back into his booth, speaking lowly into an intercom. Hae tapped out an impatient beat on the steering wheel.
Finally, the guard opened the gate and waved them through. Donghae pulled in and drove around the side of the building to the garage. He’d only been to the Shin compound once, when he and Heechul negotiated the arms contract a year ago, but he remembered the layout pretty well.
He also remembered Shin Soohyun, the current head of the Shin family, though back then he was just the eldest son. Specifically, he remembered how Soohyun had treated Heechul - with a patronizing tone and a roving eye. He’d been furious at the time that anyone would take his hyung so lightly, but Heechul told him afterwards that Soohyun had been a client back at the brothel, and that it was that connection that allowed them to get the contract in the first place. Soohyun hadn’t taken Heechul seriously because to him, Heechul was nothing but a whore.
Donghae really wasn’t looking forward to seeing the man again, mostly because the urge to punch him in the nose would be quite strong. But all he had to do was keep quiet and watch Heechul’s back, and trust that his hyung knew what he was doing. If there was one thing he’d learned in his almost fifteen years of being Heechul’s best friend, it was that Heechul had a plan for everything.
They parked and got out of the car. Two of Soohyun’s bodyguards were already there to meet them. Donghae recognized one of them, head enforcer Kiseop, from his last visit. He motioned for Heechul to put his hands on the still-warm hood of the car and started patting him down for weapons; at a nod from the other guard Donghae did the same.
The second guard found the gun under his arm and the knife in his boot, but he didn’t reach all the way around Donghae’s lower stomach, so he missed the little compact Smith & Wesson pistol tucked into an inner-pants holster right at the zipper. (Every time Donghae wore his gun this way someone - usually Shindong or Kangin - made the obligatory ‘is that a gun in your pocket’ joke. Once he hadn’t actually been wearing the gun. That was awkward.)
Donghae cocked an eyebrow but didn’t say anything. He wasn’t planning on needing a gun, but if this new guy was going to be so kind as to let him keep one he certainly wasn’t going to complain.
Meanwhile, Dongho dragged himself out of the backseat of the car, still groggy and pinched-looking. The bodyguards exchanged a smirk at his condition. Not bothering to wait for them, Dongho stumbled his way through the garage and into the house.
“Looks like he had a hell of a night,” the new bodyguard commented.
“He enjoyed himself immensely,” Heechul murmured. The new guard looked at him, clearly not expecting his sultry tone. Heechul gave him a smile that practically dripped suggestion.
The guard flushed, which made Donghae smirk. Heechul tended to have that effect on people.
They were led into the building and up the stairs to a sleek, modern office. Dongho was already there, with Soohyun, locked in a quiet but intense conversation. Clearly, Soohyun was not happy about his kid brother staying out all night at a brothel.
Donghae and Heechul waited until the family squabble ended with Dongho storming petulantly out of the room. Soohyun gave them a dramatic, long-suffering sigh and motioned for them to sit. Donghae wanted to remain standing, but in mob etiquette that would mark him as a bodyguard, not an equal participant in the proceedings. He sat. Kiseop and the guard who didn’t know how to frisk someone took up positions on either side of the door, at Donghae’s back.
“To what do I owe the….pleasure...of this visit?” Soohyun asked, cocking a perverse eyebrow at Heechul. Donghae resisted the urge to slap that smirk right off his face. “I’m guessing you didn’t just want to see my kid brother home.”
“No.” Heechul’s hand floated up near his face, a deliberately unconscious gesture that brought attention to full, pillowy lips and long, graceful fingers. Soohyun’s eyes followed his fingers like a dog watching his master dangle a treat. “I’m afraid I have some bad news.”
Soohyun blinked out of his lust-induced stupor and focused sharply on Heechul’s words. “Oh?”
“We suffered a minor setback with last night’s shipment,” Heechul murmured. “I’m sorry to say, this means your delivery will be a few days late.”
Soohyun’s face went cold. “That’s unfortunate.”
“Indeed.” Heechul crossed his legs very deliberately, but Soohyun was no longer paying attention to his many physical charms. That wasn’t good. Donghae shifted slightly, getting his hand closer to his concealed gun just in case.
“I’m sure you understand the position this puts me in,” Soohyun said. “We have several very important ...tasks to complete in the upcoming weeks. Those weapons are vital to our success in these ventures. ”
Donghae kind of wanted to know what exactly the family was planning that required that many new firearms, but he knew better than to ask. Soohyun’s tone had gotten dangerous.
Heechul just bowed from the waist politely, unaffected by the veiled threat. “I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you,” he demurred, “and I assure you that your shipment will be available by Monday evening at the latest.” Donghae blinked, holding back his surprise. Monday? That was news to him. “In the meantime, is there anything I can do to…mitigate the inconvenience?”
The words were saturated with innuendo. There was enough wink-wink-nudge-nudge in his tone to choke a horse. Soohyun raised his eyebrows. “What do you suggest?”
Heechul uncrossed his legs and leaned forward slightly, cocking his shoulders so that the neckline of his loose top slid to the side and exposed sharply defined collarbones and the perfect, milky-white skin of one shoulder. Soohyun’s eyes went straight to Heechul’s collar, and a small, shifting noise made Donghae think his hyung’s little display had caught the attention of at least one of the bodyguards as well.
“I am willing to offer free...services...to you and your family this Friday night at the Den,” Heechul suggested in that same sultry tone. “Free drinks, free food, and any of my escorts you please, for free.”
Wow. Considering the financial position they were in, that was a hell of a generous offer. Siwon was going to have a fit.
Soohyun looked like he was considering it. “Are my cousins included in that offer?”
It took a moment, but then Donghae remembered that the Kim family were the Shin’s first cousins. The two families were long-time allies, and it was only with the support of the three Kim brothers that Soohyun was even able to secure his place in the family when his father was killed.
Kkangpae politics were complicated.
“Yes, of course,” Heechul was saying. “They are your family, after all.” Smart of him, to appeal to the family thing. There wasn’t much that the Kkangpae held in higher regard than a familial bond.
Soohyun pressed his palms together in front of his mouth, folding his fingers together and eyeing Heechul shrewdly over them.
“And are you also available for free?”
Donghae very nearly jumped to his feet, an angry snarl escaping his lips. Heechul shot him a quelling look and though he would rather be vaulting over the table to teach that asshole some manners, he calmed himself, relaxing back into the chair. Shifting noises behind him made him told him that the bodyguards had probably been about to jump him; they were returning to their places.
“I don’t take clients anymore,” Heechul demurred, “but I might be persuaded in this instance.”
“Do this for me and I will not terminate our contract,” Soohyun said flatly. “Otherwise, I can’t guarantee the ...civility of our continued relationship.”
It didn’t really matter whether he was talking about just terminating the arms contract or terminating something else, it was a clear threat either way. Donghae really wanted to punch the man. But Heechul somehow managed to stay completely calm, inclining his head graciously.
“Well, by all means, let us keep things civil. My only stipulation is that my boyfriend be allowed in the room with us. Whether he is a passive watcher or an active participant is up to you, but I will not do this without him.”
Soohyun blinked. “You have a boyfriend?”
A nod. “For four years now.”
The sheer surprise on Soohyun’s face was insulting. As if Heechul couldn’t hold a romantic relationship for that long. He considered it, tapping his peaked fingers against his lips.
“Is he as gorgeous as you?” he asked finally.
Heechul quirked a smile. “You know very well I could have my pick of the men in this city. Would I choose to stay with someone not up to my level?”
“Hmph.” Soohyun leaned back in his chair. “Then there’s only one more thing. One of the guns in the order was needed for a job this coming Thursday. It’s not an order we can easily replace in time, and this is a one-time opportunity to do this job. We must have that gun.”
“I assume you’re talking about Vidhwansak?” Heechul asked. Soohyun nodded. Donghae wasn’t surprised - Vidhwansak was an Indian military sniper rifle with a ridiculously long maximum range. Not exactly the kind of weapon one could just buy off the street. Donghae had had a hell of a time securing one when the order came in.
Heechul looked to Donghae. “Do we have anything that could replace it?”
Donghae thought about it. And just maybe...of course, his sniper wasn’t going to like it much. But he’d do what Donghae said, because if Heechul could make that kind of sacrifice to keep the Dragons on the Shin family’s good side, the least his gang could do was give up a gun. Guns could be replaced.
“What’s the range on the target?” Donghae asked.
“1300 meters,” Soohyun said, not even bothering to look at Donghae.
Yeah, that was a hell of a long range, but... “We have a Savage BA 110 that could do it,” Hae admitted. “We’d just need to refit it for a Lapua cartridge. Give me a drop point and I’ll have it to your man tomorrow morning. No charge.”
That made Soohyun refocus his attention from Heechul to Donghae. “You’re sure it can handle that kind of range?”
Hae snorted. “Provided your man knows how to use a scope, yeah, I’m sure. You’re hardly the only people in this city who’ve had to make a long-range hit before.”
Heechul shot Donghae a look that very clearly said keep up the smart-aleck tone and I will kick you but Soohyun actually cracked a smile.
“Well. The Dragons certainly do run a full-service operation.” He picked up a pen and scribbled something onto a notepad, then tore the page off and handed it across the desk to Heechul. “There’s your drop point.”
Heechul took it, purposefully letting his fingers brush against Soohyun’s. Soohyun’s smile widened. He glanced over their heads at the bodyguards. “Kiseop, Hoon, show these two out to their car. I’ll see you on Friday, then?”
Heechul stood and bowed. “I look forward to it.”
Donghae’s bow was much less respectful, but Soohyun wasn’t looking at him anyway.