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Bloodbound

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Once at Jimin and Taehyung's apartment, Yoongi disappeared in the blink of an eye before appearing back in the doorway just a few seconds later. "Lucky for us it seems no one is lurking about."

Jimin blinked. "You already checked the whole apartment?"

"It's a very small apartment." Yoongi said bluntly. "I'm not even sure 'apartment' is the right word for it."

"We prefer the word cozy." Jimin informed him.

"So, Yoongi," Taehyung cut in as they entered the apartment. "How long before I'm a super awesome badass vampire? I want to be able to hang here and not worry.

"It takes natural talent." Yoongi informed him. "Plus a few centuries' worth of practice."

Taehyung's smile fell. "You're killing me."

Yoongi narrowed his eyes. "No, I'm preventing someone else from killing you."

"It's a figure of…" Taehyung shook his head then. "Nope, nevermind." He then chose to look around the living room at all of his belongings. "Yeah, I'm gonna need some snacks to get through this." Giggling, he and Jimin rushed over to the kitchen and filled their arms of every snack and junk food they had in the cabinets before laying it out on the coffee table.

Yoongi blinked at the choices, his lips pressed together in a thin line. "You eat these things voluntarily?"

"Uh, yeah." Taehyung confirmed as if it were obvious. "They're delicious!"

The older vampire pinched a bag of Flamin' Hot Cheetos between his fingers and held it out in front of him as if it were laced with a radioactive substance. "I refuse to believe that."

Taehyung smirked at him. "You've never had one, have you?"

"Yes." Yoongi deadpanned. "I have lived on this planet for 2,063 years and I have not tried a…" He paused to grimace. "Flaming Hot Cheeto."

"Flamin'." Taehyung corrected. "There is no 'g'. And you have to try one now."

Jimin nodded in agreement. "Don't you want to live life to the fullest?"

Yoongi glared at both of them, but quickly realized they wouldn't give in. With a defeated sigh, he opened the bag and begrudgingly pulled out one single Cheeto. Slowly, he placed the chip in his mouth and chewed thoughtfully. "It tastes…vaguely cheeselike."

"Yep." Taehyung chirped. "Which is actually kind of weird if you think about it. "I don't think there's any real cheese in them."

"What was junk food like 2000 years ago?" Jimin inquired as he picked up a Twinkie.

"Junk food is a modern invention." Yoongi scoffed. "But I suppose dates and figs served a similar role back then."

Jimin blinked. "Seriously?"

Yoongi nodded. "When baked into desserts, they were quite delightful.'

Taehyung stared blankly at the older vampire. "What else was there?"

Yoongi hummed. "I was always partial to olives."

"I love olives too!" Taehyung gasped. "Especially in a good martini."

"The ones you can buy here now, they aren't the same." Yoongi informed them. "I can still remember how they tasted back home. It was…something else." He closed his eyes briefly as he got lost in a memory. But he snapped back just as quickly. "Please, I need something to wash this taste out of my mouth. Preferably something strong."

Taehyung wiggled his eyebrows in excitement as he offered, "Vodka?"

A tiny smile managed to make its way onto Yoongi's face. "Now you're speaking my language."

Half an hour and three rounds of shots later, Taehyung finally began packing his video games into a backpack. "How am I supposed to choose which Zelda game I like best….eh, I'll just bring them all."

"You're not going to have any room left in your bags for clothes and stuff." Jimin pointed out with a laugh.

"I don't need clothes when I've got Wind Waker." Taehyung insisted. "And how could I survive without my Guitar Rockstar set? It's absolutely essential! Right, Yoongi?"

Yoongi slowly blinked at him. "I do not care about any of the things you've just said."

Jimin turned to Yoongi with wide eyes. "Have you never heard of Guitar Rockstar? It was, like, the biggest fad a few years ago!" Yoongi continued to stare blankly at them."

"Jimin," Taehyung grabbed his best friend's hand for support. "We have to fix this."

"No, you don't."

Yoongi went ignored as Taehyung booted up his PS4 and loaded Guitar Rockstar. "Tae, let's show Yoongi how it's done."

"Let's do this!"

Taehyung and Jimin jumped around as they performed an upbeat rock song, Yoongi standing off to the side and watching with a blank expression. When they finished with a new high score, Taehyung pulled Jimin into a bone-crushing hug. "Choking not breathing!" Jimin choked out, causing Taehyung to immediately back away with a sheepish smile.

The fledgling vampire then turned to his new mentor. "So, what did you think?"

"…congratulations?"

Jimin snorted as he chose their next song. "We'll make a gamer of you yet."

They played a few more songs before retiring the game as Yoongi cleared his throat. "Doesn't seem like we're getting much packing done.

"But we're having so much fun!" Taehyung exclaimed. "This is like the sleepover I always dreamed of having!"

"You dreamed of having a sleepover with an ancient vampire CEO?" Jimin teased him.

"Yes." Taehyung stated seriously before sighing. "But we can't go back to packing because we haven't talked about feelings yet! That's a sleepover must!"

"Absolutely not." Yoongi rejected forcefully. "Under no circumstance."

Three rounds of shots later, Taehyung's hand shot in the air. "I'll go first! The whole turning into a vampire thing has been sort of overwhelming. I was really scared when it first happened. And then there was everything with the Council…" Taehyung sighed. "It was like a nightmare." Jimin reached out to rub his back comfortingly. "But now that I've gotten to meet other vampires and been accepted into a Clan, I'm actually excited to see what the future holds. I feel like I can do anything now. The possibilities are endless! And hooking up with someone, holy shit…" Jimin felt his cheeks start to burn at the memory.

Yoongi raised an eyebrow. "When have you had time…" He trailed off as he noticed Jimin's red face. "Nevermind."

Taehyung clapped his hands together. "Enough about me. It's your turn, Yoongi."

"I don't share." Yoongi deadpanned, earning a pout from Taehyung.

"Why don't you talk about your lovers?" Jimin prompted him.

"Yes!" Taehyung exclaimed, bouncing slightly in excitement. "Tell us about your lovers! I’m assuming you've had many, seeing how gorgeous you are."

Yoongi gave a stiff nod. "I have had lovers, yes."

Jimin smiled. "Ever been with a prince?"

"Sure."

"Princess?"

"Several."

Jimin raised an eyebrow. "At the same time?"

Yoongi shrugged. "It was quite a party."

"What about, like, a badass warrior?" Taehyung asked. "Like a Khal Drogo type?"

"I do not know who that is." Yoongi blinked. "But yes, I've been with a warrior. And his ass was definitely not bad."

Taehyung stared at him. "That's not what…you know what, I'm gonna let this one go."

Jimin then tilted his head, hugging his legs to his chest. "Who's your most recent lover?"

Yoongi hummed as he thought back. "Honestly, I haven't been with anyone for…a century or so."

Taehyung and Jimin's jaws dropped. "You haven't had sex in a century?" Taehyung practically screeched.

"And I thought my six-month drought was bad." Jimin shook his head slightly.

"Can I ask why?" Taehyung asked. "Is it like a vow or something?"

"No, it's not a vow." Yoongi shook his head. "I've just been busy."

Taehyung waited a beat before saying, "For a century."

Yoongi nodded before sighing. "And I suppose I haven't found anyone I've been interested in."

Jimin shrugged slightly. "I guess when you've been around for two millennia, your standards get pretty high."

"Sounds lonely." Taehyung frowned.

"Perhaps to some." Yoongi nodded, his eyes meeting Jimin's and softening the tiniest bit, which confused Jimin. "I suppose not all company is bad." He then seemed to realize that Jimin and Taehyung had caught onto his slight change in demeanor and promptly stiffened, clearing his throat. "Well, Jimin, you've tricked me into talking. Now the least you can do is the same."

"I can't believe how much has changed." Jimin said. "I feel like my entire life has been turned upside down. And honestly, I'm still trying to make sense of it."

"Tell me about it." Taehyung agreed. "One second I was eating cereal and the next, boom, vampire drama."

"The adjustment can be difficult for many." Yoongi said. "Yet the two of you seem to be managing alright."

Taehyung and Jimin shared a look before giggling. "It is pretty cool when I think about it." Taehyung said.

Jimin nodded. "I mean, a week ago I was jobless, and now I'm assistant to a vampire and learning all sorts of new things. It's exciting!"

"Your optimism is admirable." A soft smile appeared on Yoongi's face. "I'm starting to see why Namjoon likes you." Jimin blushed again, picking at a loose thread on his sweater to avoid Yoongi's gaze.

With no more excuses, Taehyung finally resumed packing his belongings, taking about an hour to fill all of his bags. Just before he and Yoongi left, the older vampire turned to Jimin. "I…did not have a terrible time tonight." Jimin smiled at him. "I wouldn't mind doing this again. Perhaps at my place as opposed to your…apartment."

Jimin nodded that he would like that as Taehyung pulled him into another tight hug. "Goodnight, Jimin." He whispered as he pulled back. "Do you want us to walk you back to the Kim building?"

The shorter male shook his head. "Nah, I’m not scared. You guys take care of yourselves." He waited for them to be gone before cautiously heading back to the guest suite at Kim HQ.

 

Jimin woke up to a text from Namjoon asking him to come in early. He got up and quickly got ready for the day before heading up to his desk, finding the vampire already waiting for him. "Tell me you're not planning to send me into another vampire crime den." He pleaded. "I just don’t' think I have it in me."

"No." Namjoon confirmed. "There's something I'd like to show you. Something I haven't shown anyone else." Jimin furrowed his eyebrows slightly as Namjoon smiled in what seemed to be excitement. "I think it truly is a game changer, and I hope you'll agree."

"And I'm officially intrigued." Jimin mused as he followed Namjoon into his office.

The vampire pressed his fingers into a groove inset into the back wall and a complicated mechanism activated, revealing a safe. However, instead of a knob, it had a smooth, digital panel. "This safe is where I keep all confidential company information. It's one of the most secure in the world. Only I can open it." He keyed in a series of digits then pressed his finger onto its biometric scanner, causing the door to swing open. "Here it is." He reached inside and gently removed a syringe with an orange-red liquid with an iridescent sheen.

"What is that?" Jimin asked as he stared at it with wide eyes.

"This is my most top-secret project." Namjoon answered vaguely. "Something I don't trust anyone else in the company with. Something so valuable that it could completely change the vampire world as we know it." Jimin stared at him until he shared more information as to what the liquid was. "It's a prototype. An unfinished serum."

"What's it supposed to do?" Jimin asked.

Namjoon paused for a moment before answering. "Make me human again."

Jimin's eyes widened, and he swore he stopped breathing for a total of ten seconds. "Where did you get this?"

"I created it." Namjoon answered proudly.

"Does it work?"

"If you analyze the blood of a vampire, there are certain chemical properties in it that make it different from human blood." Namjoon explained. "For decades, I've been having my scientists try to reverse engineer those properties to turn our blood normal. It requires a complex solution, blending synthetic elements with some surprisingly natural ones."

Something clicked in Jimin's brain at that moment. "The mandrake extract." Namjoon nodded in confirmation. "And this serum can make a vampire mortal again?"

"We hope so eventually."

Jimin bit his lip. "And is that what you want? To be mortal?"

Namjoon visibly hesitated, turning away from Jimin. "It doesn't matter."

"What do you mean?"

"The serum isn't finalized yet."

Jimin tilted his head. "You mean you haven't tested it?"

"No, I have." Namjoon said. "I was actually the first vampire to test it out. It doesn't seem to affect most of the aspects of vampirism. The strength, the healing, the hunger…all of those remained. Though it does have an immediate, if temporary, effect on my photosensitivity."

Jimin blinked. "Meaning…"

Namjoon turned the injector over in his hands. "This lets vampires walk in the sun."

"Seriously?" Jimin's eyes widened even more.

"For about four hours." Namjoon elaborated. "Then it wears off and the vampire is back where they started. Except they're exhausted, depleted, and in desperate need of feeding."

Jimin breathed out as he processed the information. "Did…did you really consider being human again?" Jimin tried asking again.

Namjoon sighed loftily and gazed into the distance with an unreadable expression. "Yes."

"But you'd give up so much." Jimin said. "I mean, the eternal life-"

"There's only so much life a person needs." He straightened up and put a smile on his face. "But then of course I remember my commitment to helping people. My dream of a better world. And my responsibilities on the Council, my duties to my clan. So yes, I consider all possibilities, which doesn't mean I've committed to any."

Jimin gave a small nod, playing with his fingers. "This is fascinating and all…but why are you showing it to me right now?"

"Because I'd like to take a walk around the city today." Namjoon said before smiling at Jimin. "And I'd love to have your company."

"Oh." Jimin's eyes widened slightly, and he gave the vampire a smile of his own. "Sure, I'd be happy to."

"Think of it as your contribution to our scientific testing process." Namjoon chuckled before switching the injector on and removing the safety cap.

Jimin winced as the needles glinted in the light. "That looks painful."

"It is." Namjoon confirmed before pulling down his collar and pressing the needle into his neck. Although Jimin flinched, the vampire was calm as can be. The syringe beeped and the plunger descended, the orange serum disappearing into Namjoon's veins as he groaned quietly. Once it was finished, he carefully slid the needle out of his neck and put the device back into the box, sealing it in the safe. The wall then slid shut, concealing the safe once more.

"That is very secure." Jimin commented.

"I can't be too cautious." Namjoon mused. "This serum has the potential to change the face of the world. In many ways, it's the single most important technology this company has ever created."

Jimin felt a fluttering in his stomach. "And you're showing me?"

Namjoon shrugged slightly, smiling softly at Jimin. "Why not?"

"Because you've only known me for, like, a week." Jimin reminded him with a nervous giggle. "Isn't a little weird that you're trusting me with your billion-dollar top secret serum?"

"It's not that strange." Namjoon shook his head. "You are my personal assistant…I trust you." Jimin's fluttering feeling increased. "Besides, it's not like you could do anything with it. If anyone other than me tried to open that safe, the security system would incinerate them into a few charred scraps of flesh."

"Oh…" Jimin blinked. "You're…joking…right? That's another…joke?" Namjoon stared unblinking at him. "…okay then."