(Sequel to Succession, Survival and Silence; part of the Succesion series which is a sequel to the Surrender series)
I refuse to die.
That was all Shiwon kept thinking about as he kept his eyes on the young man before him, ignoring the gun that was just a few inches from his chest. The man before him was still young, still the handsome cousin he remembered, but his eyes… There were shadows in those eyes that made him seem older, made him seem different.
“What took you so long?” Shiwon asked lightly, trying for an air of nonchalance,
“I had some other business to take care of first,” the other replied, “Your world may revolve around you, Shiwon… but mine does not.”
“There was a time when our worlds were the same, Kyuhyun,” Shiwon stated quietly, trying to read the other man’s eyes,
“That was before you took everything from me,” Kyuhyun scowled. Who knew a simple turn of the lips could transform such a beautiful face into pure darkness. “This was supposed to be mine Shiwon… Seoul was supposed to be mine.”
“Uncle did not rule over Seoul-”
“No, but had he given ME succession, I would’ve been able to turn this gang into the shadow rulers of Seoul! I could’ve run Seoul from behind the scenes… but no, NO.” Kyuhyun’s hand began to shake from the anger that pumped through his blood. His eyes narrowed dangerously, “No… Shiwon had to take over after Father died… Instead of choosing his son, Father decided to pass on his work to his damned nephew!”
“We could have shared it, Kyuhyun,” Shiwon insisted, clenching his fists at his sides to stop himself from trembling.
A light passed over Kyuhyun’s eyes for the briefest of moments before he dispelled the thoughts associated with it and pressed the barrel of the gun against Shiwon’s chest, “Why the hell would I have considered sharing anything with you after you took it away from me!?”
“You think I wanted this!?” Shiwon demanded, finally deciding he didn’t want to play the victim anymore, especially since his cousin was playing the spoiled brat; “You think I wanted to be in charge of this gang!?”
“Then why didn’t you hand it over the moment the lawyer announced your name?” Kyuhyun countered, the gun pressing harder against Shiwon.
He took a step back until he felt the window sill against his hips. Cornered, he gritted his teeth, “Because moments before I just found out your father died. I wasn’t exactly paying attention to anything else after that! How was I supposed to know that I was the only one grieving over Uncle!?”
“Don’t you dare presume what I was feeling then,” Kyuhyun warned. His heart was beating rapidly and he could feel perspiration forming in his gun hand. He gripped the metal tighter as he tried to calm his body. “This gang was the last thing I had of my father and you took it away!”
“You didn’t give a damn about what your father left! You just wanted power!” Shiwon accused,
“Yes, I wanted power,” Kyuhyun conceded, “I wanted the power my father had. He controlled all the underground networks in Seoul and all other gangs revered him. But it was all he had when he died and it should have gone to me!”
“Once my head cleared, I would have gladly given control over to you, Kyuhyun!” Shiwon exclaimed,
“THEN WHY THE HELL DIDN’T YOU!?” Kyuhyun demanded, his voice moved into a powerful crescendo, the bookshelves of the office shaking.
“Because when I was able to think clearly you had already gone on a rampage!” Shiwon defended, “You were already lost, Kyuhyun and I realized that I couldn’t let you take control!”
“Key!” The door of the office burst open and a grungy man came in; a lone wolf, Shiwon decided.
“What?” Kyuhyun called over his shoulder without moving his gaze from his cousin’s,
“We found Agents sneaking about,” The lone wolf stated as he called behind him.
Shiwon moved his gaze beyond Kyuhyun to the office door. He watched as one by one, more lone wolves entered -who Shiwon assumed were part of Kyuhyun’s gang - and each held guns to the heads of one Agent each: Jungsu, Yesung and Sungmin. Shiwon was startled, he knew Yesung and even had a guess at how powerful of an Agent he was, yet how did he get caught? He locked eyes with his friend for just a moment, but it was enough. Shiwon let out a subtle sigh of relief, Yesung had allowed them to get caught; Yesung had a plan.
Yesung took in the sight before him as he felt the cold metal of the gun against his skull. If Shiwon understood him, then he did have a plan. However, what he didn’t expect was for Shiwon to have a gun pressed up against his chest. His mind scrambled to recalculate a plan that wouldn’t end with that guy - who must be Key - pulling the trigger of his gun and killing Shiwon.
He tried to think of something - anything. In the office, not including Key, there were four other lone wolves. But, including Shiwon, there were four against Key. Five against four weren’t bad odds at all, but with those guns against their heads and Shiwon’s chest, that tipped the scales in favour of Key. He had originally signalled Shiwon that he had a plan, but that was before he caught sight of the gun Key held. He focused his eyes on Shiwon, hoping to gain the other’s attention once more.
“What should we do?” One of the wolves asked,
Shiwon shifted his eyes back to Yesung, trying to guess at his plan. However, Yesung made the slightest of movements with his own eyes and Shiwon realized the silent message immediately; Yesung wouldn’t do anything to endanger him.
“If they really are Agents, then-”
“Why don’t you just let them go, Kyuhyun?” Shiwon asked, interrupting whatever Kyuhyun was going to instruct. He hoped - prayed - that that would help somehow.
“Why don’t I just keep them for now?” Kyuhyun replied easily, his lips curling into a cruel smile, “After all… it seems after so many years, I finally have control.”
“Damn it Kyuhyun, I’m sorry!” Shiwon exclaimed, eyebrows narrowing, “It’s not like I planned for this! It’s not like I asked your father for all of this!”
“Didn’t you?” Kyuhyun quirked up an eyebrow, “As I see it, you did… All your training… and studying… playing the golden boy for Father. Oh no, Shiwon… as I remember it, you were always trying to prove to my father that you’d be the better leader than I. Why else would you train so hard?”
“I trained because I felt that even if all I’d ever be was a regular member, at least I could be of some use to you!” Shiwon insisted,
“Well, Father saw it differently, seeing as he chose the golden son to be his successor,” Kyuhyun menacingly pressed the gun against Shiwon, “even though I was his real son.”
Shiwon felt his heart pounding violently in his chest and knew his body wanted to shake from fear. He had been trying to keep his temper in check, but the way things were, Shiwon couldn’t see any of them surviving this encounter with his cousin. So, he released the hold on his anger and lashed out, “Fine! You want to know why your father didn’t choose you!?”
Kyuhyun was startled, but said nothing in reply.
“It’s because you weren’t ready to be a boss,” Shiwon spat, “You were younger but more naïve, more immature to handle the responsibility of being a leader! For all your skill, you were still lacking in responsibility, so that’s why your father chose me!”
Across the room, the three Agents believed Shiwon had lost it. His cousin held all over their lives in his control and Shiwon was taking this moment to scold Key. However, Shiwon was unrelenting as Kyuhyun’s anger seemed to peak.
“I was not-”
“Weren’t you!?” Shiwon interjected, “If you weren’t, why did you go on a killing spree after it was announced that I was successor? If you truly were better for the job than me, then you would’ve kept a cool head. Instead you allowed your emotions to rule, just as you always have when we were growing up.”
“You’re a fucking hypocrite, Shiwon,” Kyuhyun spat, “My emotions rule me? Then what about you?”
“I know when to allow my emotions to reign and when to set them aside,” Shiwon answered coolly,
“Oh?” Kyuhyun’s cold smile was back, “Let’s test that theory…Bring them in!” He called.
Shiwon’s eyes shifted to the office door as he waited for whoever it was Kyuhyun had. Suddenly, he felt his heart drop, felt the world fall away as another man entered with Donghae and DoHae. The first lone wolf from before went and stood behind Donghae so it was one wolf per hostage.
Kyuhyun stepped away from Shiwon finally, but approached Donghae and DoHae; “Tell me again how you know when to let your emotions rule, Shiwon.”
“You bastard,” Shiwon practically growled from the window, not daring to move.
“You’ve gotten soft, Shiwon… A soft hypocrite,” Kyuhyun chuckled bitterly, “Well… I’ll prove how you’ve gone soft… I’ll prove how you’re a hypocrite…” He stood ten paces from Donghae and DoHae, “More importantly, hyung” he spat the word like venom, “I’ll prove why I should have been successor.” He raised his gun and moved it back and forth, aiming from Donghae to DoHae and back again, “pick one.”
“WHAT!?” Shiwon exclaimed, his heart suddenly frozen and the air sucked from his lungs;
“Pick one; save one of their lives. However,” Kyuhyun aimed towards the wall and pulled the trigger. The bullet planted itself in the wall with a sharp crack of the gun. Kyuhyun cocked the gun, “However, dear cousin, if you don’t pick one… I’ll kill them both.”
“WAIT!” Yesung exclaimed over Shiwon’s reply, “Just… wait.”
Kyuhyun turned his head to look at Yesung, “And what the hell do you want?”
“Shoot me instead,” Yesung suggested, his eyes falling to the ground, trying to avoid Sungmin’s who he knew was staring at him. “Instead of killing either of them… Spare their lives and kill me instead.”
“And why should I do that?” Kyuhyun laughed at the absurdity as he turned fully to face Yesung, crossing his arms over his chest,
“Because you’ll go down in history as the one to take down the Agency’s… no, the world’s best spy,” Yesung offered, clenching his fists at his sides, “More glory than killing two unknowns.”
“Yesung, no!” Sungmin cried from his side. He tried to pull away from his captor, but hearing the gun at his head being cocked, stilled him immediately, “Yesung,” he pleaded,
“NO!” Yesung snapped his attention towards Sungmin, locking eyes with him, “This started with me… it’ll end with me!”
Sungmin felt a clamp tighten around his heart and the hot sting of tears behind his eyes. He fought it all as he gazed into Yesung’s eyes, trying to say something, anything. However, his voice was failing him - everything was failing him except for the fear that Yesung would truly be taken from him.
“Touching,” Kyuhyun drawled as he raised his gun and aimed it at Yesung, “Makes no difference to me, really. This gun still has five bullets, who’s to say I can’t kill more than one person?” With that, the sound of the gun going off cut through the office like thunder.
Yesung’s body immediately toppled over against his captor. For the briefest of moments, all attention was on the fallen Agent. Sungmin took it to his advantage and dashed away from his own captor. He lunged towards Kyuhyun as a scream tore away from his lips,
“YOU FUCKING BASTARD!” Sungmin yelled as he straddled Kyuhyun’s torso, one hand clamped around his neck. With his free hand, he reached into the other hand’s sleeve and withdrew a dagger. He replaced his hand on Kyuhyun’s neck, with the blade.
The cocking of four other guns sounded as the other four lone wolves aimed their guns at Sungmin.
“Try it!” Kyuhyun spat, “You’ll be dead before you can-”
“You think that matters NOW!?” Sungmin interjected angrily. His body was trembling from a combination of fear and anger. Yesung was gone and that’s all that mattered. Sungmin scowled down at the man beneath him. He saw nothing but red and remembered nothing but the sight of Yesung’s body falling to the ground. He pressed the blade of his dagger against Kyuhyun’s neck, “You think I care if I die in the process? All that matters is that I at least try to kill you!”
Donghae pulled his eyes away from the body of his fallen comrade and swept his eyes across all those in the room; all attention was aimed at Sungmin and the man called Key. Taking a deep, steadying breath, he smashed his elbow back against his captor’s neck, grabbing his gun. At the same time, Donghae kicked sideways, knocking the gun from the wolf who was behind DoHae. He twisted and allowed himself to fall back onto the ground as his free hand caught the other gun. He pointed both guns at the men who had once held him and DoHae.
As if on cue, Jungsu pulled out a gun and a dagger as Shiwon pulled out just a gun. Jungsu held his dagger with a reverse grip, holding it against his own captor’s neck, while his gun was pointed to the wolf closest, who had once been aiming a gun at Yesung. Shiwon, slowly neared the others as he aimed his gun at the wolf who had been holding onto Sungmin.
“Well, well,” Donghae said slowly, a smile on his lips as DoHae moved to help him up, “I never did like having a gun aimed at me.”
Kyuhyun growled from beneath Sungmin, “Careless bastards!”
“I’d be swearing more for your life right now,” Sungmin said quietly, darkly as he pressed the dagger further against Kyuhyun’s neck until the blade’s edge was tinged with red, “Your thugs could outnumber my friend a hundred against three and all I still would care about is slitting your throat and watching you beg me to save your life.”
“So, how shall we do this?” Donghae asked with a slight tilt of his head as he surreptitiously stepped in front of DoHae to shield her, “There may be five of you against the three of us… but two of us are top Agents and the third is a mob boss.” His smile grew bigger as his gaze sharpened, “If you kill him, his gang will definitely take revenge.”
“Don’t listen to his bullshit!” Kyuhyun cried out, immediately silencing when he felt a painful sting in his neck whenever he tried to talk. Even breathing caused the cut in his neck to burn.
But Donghae saw the men look at each other hesitantly, the two whom he had his guns aimed at were defenceless, “And lets not forget that I have two guns… and my friend over there has two weapons as well… seems to me that we’re five for five!”
Silence stretched amongst them when suddenly a sound disrupted them. Heavy footsteps were heard in the hallway outside the office, accompanied by a mysterious, light thumping that played off-beat to the footsteps.
“I specifically told everyone not to come today,” Shiwon muttered, perplexed as he kept his gun focused on the lone wolf before him, “Who the-”
A deep chuckle interrupted Shiwon as he allowed his eyes to shift towards the office doors. Donghae, too, briefly glanced towards the doors before returning his full attention to the thugs before him. Jungsu, who had his back to the door, gave no indication of shifting his attention from either of the wolves he held still. However, he focused his hearing to the door behind him.
“Oh, this looks fun,” the familiar voice swept into the room and immediately filled Jungsu’s heart. He clenched his hands on the dagger and gun, absent-mindedly pressing the blade into the man’s neck slightly. “And to think I almost didn’t sneak out of the hospital for this.”
“What the hell do you think you can do?” Kyuhyun laughed mockingly from the ground, ignoring the pain and the blade at his neck; “You’re walking with a cane! Not to mention you only survived one mission with the Agency!”
Youngwoon stood in the doorway dressed as impeccably as always. Wearing a pristine, white suit with silver pinstripes, his eyes swept to the familiar young man on the ground, eyes narrowing just slightly, “I can do more than you’d think.”
Suddenly, the agent who Jungsu had his gun aimed at whipped his gun up, shooting at the supposed invalid. Without so much as a bat of an eyelash, Youngwoon raised his cane, spinning it. With the force of the twist, he caught the bullet against the cane and caused it to ricochet back towards the shooter. The bullet pierced the man’s neck and he stumbled backwards until he fell to the ground, blood pooling around him from his neck.
“I don’t know why people think just because I left after one mission that I’m not good enough to be an Agent,” Youngwoon shook his head as he stepped closer to the men Donghae was threatening. Leaning most of his weight against the cane, he reached out with his free hand to one of the man, his fingers closing on the man’s neck, only able to reach half-way around. “You can let down one of your guns, Donghae,” Youngwoon insisted with a deceptively bright smile and light tone, “Because if this man so much as takes too deep a breath, I can easily kill him by gripping my hand just so.”
Demonstrating his threat, Youngwoon increased the pressure of his thumb which was against the man’s Adam’s apple while his ring finger specifically pressed down on a spot on the back of the man’s neck on his spine. The wolf cringed as he felt a stabbing pain from the front of his throat while he felt a numbing pain from the back of his neck; all the while, he felt the distinct feeling of being unable to breath. Youngwoon loosened his hold slightly and the man let out a gasp for air as Donghae let down one of his guns.
Sungmin kept his eyes on the man beneath him as a hollowness spread through him while ice seemed to pump through his body. He felt the painful sting of tears but fought against them as he gritted his teeth; he wouldn’t be weak, he wouldn’t show weakness… Not until the bastard before him was dead, at least. Up until that point, Sungmin hadn’t allowed those around them to distract him. However, when he heard Youngwoon come in and the body of - presumably- a lone wolf had fallen, he felt some heaviness leave him as the playing field was levelled. Knowing that no one could be pointing a gun at him since they had to deal with their own adversaries, Sungmin allowed the room to re-enter his senses.
Kyuhyun stared up at the man who sat atop him. It was damned hard to breath with the weight on his stomach, even harder to concentrate properly when he felt the trickle of blood slide down his neck and the press of a very sharp blade lying against his skin. His eyes searched the other man’s and saw nothing but pure, unadulterated hatred.
Then it happened.
Kyuhyun wasn’t sure exactly if he saw it, but for the slightest of moments, just a fraction of a breath, he saw a slight twitch of the man’s eyes. If he was right, then something had sparked the other man’s attention. Even if this man was forcing all his attention on him, something happened and the man unconsciously was reacting to it. He practically held his breath as he waited. If it happened once, surely it could happen again?
A second time.
This time, Kyuhyun saw it as the intervals in which the man blinked slowed for just a moment longer. He shoved the man off of him and ran towards the only person without a weapon - the young woman. He pulled her back against him. His arms securely holding her captive.
“Oh cousin, dearest,” Kyuhyun taunted in a sing-song voice.
Jungsu raised his gun towards the man that Shiwon was aiming at. He gestured towards where Kyuhyun was standing. Relieved of his wolf, Shiwon was able to turn his attention to his cousin. He felt as if winter gripped his entire body as he saw DoHae in Kyuhyun’s arms.
“I must admit, your taste in women is pretty damn good,” Kyuhyun smirked as his hand came and held her head, his lips trailing against the column of her neck, “As fair as any Snow White, that’s for sure.” DoHae struggled against him when she felt his lip on her skin, but he held her still, “You do remember how that story ends, don’t you Shiwon?”
“You son of a bitch,” Shiwon started towards him,
He raised his gun towards Shiwon to stop his progress, “Not another step,” Kyuhyun warned in that same sing-song voice from before, his bass voice sending ice through Shiwon’s body. “I guess you don’t remember… Well, let me remind you…” Effectively stilling his cousin, he swiftly brought up the gun and pressed it gently against DoHae’s trembling head. Kyuhyun threw him a twisted and cruel smile;
“Snow White dies.”
(For the sequel: Sincerity)