(t/w: taeyong mafia!au, violence)
the streetlights had blinked on hours ago, but nobody except you walks the streets under them. in the darkness, you can see the moths buzzing around the yellow slivers, the only thing to keep you company as you walk home. it had been a strange night, one that leaves you feeling uneasy and apprehensive, and the stretch of darkness between each light does nothing to alleviate your fear.
somewhere down the street, a trashcan is pushed over and the metallic echo bounces off the brick around you. the sound makes your heartbeat shoot up, blood pulsing painfully in your ears. for a second, you freeze, trying to source the direction of the jarring noise. waves of cold panic flow through you when you realise the alleyway in front of you is the origin. midnight had long since passed, meaning the buses had stopped riding, and the only way to get back to your apartment was to walk past the alley. the alley which had the one broken lamp in front of it, bathed in darkness.
taeyong’s words flicker across your mind, your gut feeling is almost never wrong, he says in your memory and you briefly wonder if you should call him. your fingers slip around your phone in your pocket but you know he’s probably busy. finishing some business, as he always says. besides, he would probably laugh at your fear anyway; only children are afraid of the dark, he told you once.
after taking a deep breath as an attempt to calm your racing heart, you walk forwards. subconsciously, you slip your housekeys in the gaps of your fingers, closing them to form a fist, just like taeyong had taught you so many months ago.
the first few steps are fine, the gravel under your sneakers the only thing imposing on your eardrums. but as you near the end of the alley, you see movement out of the corner of your eye, silver shining in the sparse fragments of light. terror encases you at the same time a hand wraps around your wrist, jerking harshly and making you stumble into the alley. you pull with your whole body to get away, but your attacker has a much stronger force than you, pulling you behind them easily.
their other hand reaches for your face and you get a glimpse of the man in front of you. dark eyes stare into yours a thin-lipped mouth pulling up at the corners in a sickening smile. the gloom of the alley casts deep shadows on his face and you resist the urge to shut your eyes to avoid the sight. the hand comes into contact with your cheekbone first, snapping down. the adrenaline coursing through you numbs the pain but the sharp twist of your head makes your head spin, vision blurring.
the shock leaves you briefly unable to think, the man’s fingers coming to wrap tightly under your jaw. in this position, both his hands on you, the expanse of his chest is exposed and you take you chance, pulling on every bit of strength in you. the hand clutching your keys shoots out from your pocket, thrusting forwards into his ribcage until you feel the crunch. “bitch!”
a yelp escapes the man, hand falling from your wrist to clutch his side, fingers dripping in blood. you recognise your mistake a second too late, unable to move before his fist flies at your face one again, this time striking your mouth. hard.
metallic blood fills your mouth and you let it run down the sides of your lips so you don’t have to swallow it, already moving backwards to try and get away as his hand raises again. with a terrifying moment of realisation, you register the knife he holds above you. he moves too quickly and the stinging in the only thing you feel. the knife slides down your shoulder and across the top your ribs sooner than you can recoil, your shirt dampening instantly. it glitters dangerously in the light, thick red liquid dripping off the edge.
before it reaches you again, you manage to swing your fist forwards again, stabbing the keys into his neck this time. both of his hands fall and you don’t pause to see the damage, instead turning on the balls of your feet and sprinting out the alley.
the more distance between you and your attacker, the more the adrenaline wears off, feet aching as they slap over the pavement. you don’t think you’ve ever run faster, and your apartment comes into view as relief floods you.
the dingy staircase is empty and you take the stairs two at a time, tears now pouring furiously down your face. the salt makes the cuts on your face sting but you almosst don’t feel it, bile rising in your throat as you see the blood on your keys when you slip them into the door.
you throw them some where down the hallway, sliding down the wall as your knees give in, sobs wracking your body. you frantically search your jacket for your phone, the screen distorted from the tears in your eyes. taeyong picks up on the second ring.
“hey, have you finished work?” his cheery voice shoots comfort through you, sweet alievation through your veins. when you can do nothing but sob harder in response, however, the stony tone takes over. “where are you? what happened?”
“at home,” you choke out, only now starting the feel the effects of your injuries.
“i’m leaving now.”
when the lock turns again, you shriek, panic flooding you again. your eyes are screwed shut and you barely hear taeyong’s words over the pounding in your ears. “y/n, baby, look at me,” he orders, hands cupping your cheeks. “c'mon doll, it’s just me.” tears spill down your cheeks as you finally meet his eyes, collapsing into him.
on instinct, his arms wrap around you, one cradling your head, the other rubbing soothingly down your back. above you, his jar is set, eyes cold as rage encases him. his warm cologne floats up your nose and helps you calm your sobs to soft sniffles, your hands have a vice grip on the leather jacket hanging from his shoulders.
“let’s get you cleaned up, okay. can you stand?” the words are soft and non-threatening, the voice he uses when talking to his nephew. he doesn’t allow you time to reply before his hands under your arms are pulling you up, stabilising around your waist when you wobble.
in the light of the bathroom, the frown is prominent on his face. you had ignored the way his eyes widened a fraction as he took in your appearance. the blood had dried around your mouth, teeth stained dark, angry red blotches splaying across your cheekbones, small patches of torn skin littering the wounds. he swears when his eyes land on the wetness of your shirt, the black material concealing the colour of your blood.
“i’m gonna cut your shirt off, okay?” taeyong doesn’t expect you to reply, but he tells you anyway, grabbing the scissors from the first aid kit beside him. when you’re free of the garment, he can look properly at the wound winding down your side. the knife had left a long gash from the top of your shoulder to just under the swell of your breast, even the black lace of your bra had been sliced open. “shit, baby.”
your boyfriend warns you before he starts to clean your wounds, leaning down to get better access to your torso and letting you knot your fingers in his hair when the burning starts. the minutes he spends patching you up stretch into what felt like a lifetime and you cry again with relief when he pulls one of his clean shirts over your and your collection of bandages, helping you out of your jeans.
you still haven’t said a word as he settles you into your bed, promising to join you shortly before leaving to phone someone. even without hearing the conversation you know he’s ordering his men to find your attacker, and where you would usually feel scared, you feel nothing but emptiness. taeyong had warned you when you first met about the dangers of his job, how ruthless it could be, but it had never felt so real before. when he does slip into bed next to you, letting you curl into him, you allow yourself to worry about it in the morning.
for now, you and taeyong can be just that; no alterior motives, no extra dangers. just two people seeking comfort in each other’s arms.