Jungkook feat. Reader and the rest of BTS
Genre: Angst, Thriller, Darkfic
Warning: This fic is about murder cases, and may include some graphic imagery. Please read with caution.
Word Count: 3,274 words
“Do you think they’ve been killed?”
Maintaining a calm and unaffected exterior is exceptionally difficult, especially when a panicked boyfriend of a missing student is frantically trying to get answers out of him. Answers that Jungkook doesn’t have. Until Taehyung, an undergraduate student from Burghley University barged into the department early that moaning, demanding to see the agent in charge of the murder cases, they weren’t even aware that more girls have gone missing.
“Calm down and tell me everything you know,” Jungkook says instead of answering his question. “Why do you say that your girlfriend is missing?”
“I was supposed to meet her at the bar last night,” Taehyung starts, collapsing into a chair that Jungkook gestures for him to sit in. “But I got there late. Like, really late. I kind of dozed off. I didn’t mean to, it’s just that I had soccer practice in the afternoon, and I was pooped, you know?” At Jungkook’s understanding nod, he continues, “when I got there, she was already gone. There were tons of missed calls, and she left a message that she was going home with her best friend – that’ll be Linda, they’re attached at the hips, I swear, you wouldn’t even know that I’m her boyfriend sometimes – anyway, since she didn’t answer any of my calls, I thought she was mad at me, so I came around to her dormitory to apologise.”
“Then her roommates told me that they haven’t returned. They were starting to get worried too. It’s not like Dinah and Linda to stay out all night. We can’t reach either of them. That’s when I thought, what if…” he trails off helplessly. At this point of his story, Taehyung hangs his head and Jungkook’s heart immediately goes out to him. It’s obvious that the young man feels guilty about his tardiness playing a part in the disappearance of his girlfriend.
Jungkook isn’t feeling much better about this himself. Two girls in an inebriated state leaving a bar then not turning up is extremely worrisome, considering the similar circumstances that surround the girls who have been previously kidnapped and killed by their serial killer. He is at a loss about what to tell Taehyung though, as he has no information on the missing girls himself, but before the distressed student can ask him again, they are interrupted by a call for him.
It’s one of those situations where he feels both relief and dread at the same time. The call provides a temporary escape from the worried man’s questions, but considering the matter that he brought up, Jungkook’s reprieve will probably provide the answer in the form of a news he doesn’t want to hear.
Sure enough, less than an hour later, Jungkook, sandwiched between Jin and Namjoon, are making their way from the parking lot of the high school not far from his office to the school field. Memories from his own time in this place make Jungkook frown. It isn’t that he didn’t enjoy his high school days, but a sense of familiarity is creeping up on him. Perhaps it’s just the location where so many sweet and bitter memories were made that is making him feel uneasy about it being marred by the presence of a dead body.
The only upside to this is that he managed to leave Taehyung behind at the bureau. If you can call that an upside, Jungkook thinks to himself sourly. A scowl threatens to tug between his eyebrows when he sees a number of people he doesn’t recognise milling around on the school field. They approach a flustered-looking officer, who explains the situation to them.
“The school principal and some of the teachers,” the officer gestures to a group of men and women surrounding another officer a few paces away, some of them clearly gawking at the body sprawled on the ground. “We had a hard time shooing the students away earlier – even some teachers wanted to stay and watch, they weren’t much help.”
Jungkook’s brown eyes flick up to the three-story building facing the field. A number of faces peering down at them puts him in an even fouler mood than before. “What do people think this is, a circus?” He mumbles as he makes his way towards the dead girl with Namjoon and Jin following behind him.
A quick examination of the immobile form on the yellowish, trampled grass of the field is enough for Namjoon to confirm that it is indeed the work of their killer. Certainly the usual trademarks are easily seen; the clean yet cruel slash across the pale girl’s throat, the simple shirt and shorts that she’s wearing, the absence of shoes and another pair of earrings decorating her earlobes, but it’s always necessary to make sure.
Again, the victim’s hand is the source of one of the clues. Her right hand is wrapped around a pine cone. After checking with Namjoon that Hoseok is on his way to the crime scene, Jungkook bags the evidence and turns towards the jewelry that the victim is sporting. He won’t lie and say that they are not the first details that caught his attention, especially when it is obvious that they are horribly mismatched.
The long, silver chain that circles her lacerated neck holds a small vial of dark red liquid. It’s obviously something that has been left for them. Carefully unclasping the necklace, he hands it to Jin. “What does that look like to you?”
The miniature glass bottle painted almost vermillion by the liquid glints in the morning light menacingly as Jin examines it between his gloved fingers. “It’s blood,” he confirms. “However, since it’s supposed to lead us to the next girl, I highly doubt it’s hers.” He nods his head to their latest deceased and Jungkook acknowledges his point with a nod of his own.
“Can you tell whose blood it is?”
Jin cocks his head to the side in thought. “To be honest, I think the question you should be asking is what blood this is, not whose.” With that, he drops the necklace into a clear bag and seals it. “And the answer is; it is possible with the Uhlenhuth test. I’ll be able to determine the species this blood sample belongs to. If it does belong to a human, to specify exactly whose it is would take more time, which is why I doubt that we’ll have to even do so.”
The zoologist makes a good point; by now they know that the killer means for them to solve these clues quickly, so Jungkook doesn’t argue. Instead, he addresses the earrings lacing her earlobes. “What do you make of these?”
Namjoon shrugs, having nothing to contribute, while Jin only says, “Fancy. Is that one pair of earrings or two?”
“It’s one pair,” Jungkook gently flips the flesh with his index finger to show the two men the two pierced holes in one of her earlobes. “See, it’s a chain that enters one hole, then is looped and inserted into the second hole.” Craning their necks to get a good angle, Namjoon and Jin let out soft oohs upon seeing the way the thin chain of the earring is looped into the holes in each ear. “Y/n has a pair just like this one. But that’s not the point. Just look at the necklace. They don’t go together.”
Sure enough, even if they don’t take the leaf motifs dangling at the end of the earrings into account, they are clearly made of gold, whereas the necklace is decidedly silver in colour. “The question is, do these earrings belong to the girl, or did the killer plant it there?” It is really more of a rhetorical question, as Jungkook knows that neither Namjoon nor Jin knows more than he does. However, he lets the thought hang in the air for a few seconds before asking, “That makes two. What are we missing? Was her purse around when she was found?”
He is swiftly presented with a large, light brown handbag by the unnerved officer that greeted him earlier. As he has expected, there is no ID to be found. However, there is something else that is clearly out of place in a young woman’s bag, bulky as it is; a large, sharp hook. Before he can show it to the others, a panting Hoseok runs up to them, and the cone they found on the dead woman is thrust into his hands.
While waiting for the botanist to catch his breath, Jungkook holds up the hook for them to see. “Doubt this belongs to her.”
“I know that people are worried that a serial killer’s on the loose, but someone should tell her that a pepper spray would do the trick,” Jin guffaws, then chokes on his laughter at Jungkook’s stern look. “Ahem. That looks like a dressing hook,” he amends, trying to sound as sober as possible between his coughs.
“A dressing hook?”
“Yeah. These dressing hooks are used to suspend animals that have been slaughtered so they don’t touch the floor. This one looks like it can be attached to a roller, but this part must be stainless steel –”
“So this second girl is in a slaughterhouse?” It looks like Jin will prattle on if he isn’t stopped, so Jungkook takes it upon himself to interrupt him before he gets off topic. “Isn’t that a little too simple?”
“It is…” Jin’s handsome features distort into a frown as he thinks about Jungkook’s comment. “But this definitely belongs in a slaughterhouse. There’s hardly any around the city, but that’s good, isn’t it?”
“I hate to be the bearer of bad news,” Hoseok cuts in. “While I want to find the second girl just as much as everyone here, I have to tell you, this didn’t come from anywhere around here.” He indicates the egg-shaped cone in the bag that he’s holding to clarify what he is referring to. Without waiting to be asked, he launches into an explanation. “This is a pine cone from Pinus radiata, also known as Monterey pine, or radiata pine. It is cultivated in certain places, but not here in the city.”
“Where can you find them then?” Namjoon asks his friend before Jungkook can demand for the answer himself.
“All over the county, but only in rural areas,” Hoseok declares, and under Jungkook’s orders, quickly sits with Jin over a laptop to cross-check the existence of the trees in the vicinity of abattoirs.
“Where’s Yoongi?” Namjoon questions Jungkook as they watch the two experts urgently discuss the map on the computer screen. The agent grunts grumpily at the doctor’s inquiry. He has been trying to reach Yoongi ever since he received the news earlier this morning, but every call has gone into the post-doctorate’s voicemail. “I couldn’t reach him.”
“What about y/n, don’t they go to the same university?”
“She didn’t answer either. Probably still asleep.” Jungkook feels sorry towards you, knowing that you had burnt the midnight oil to write a paper and planned to sleep in this morning but you’ll understand. So he fishes his phone out of his pocket and when he’s directed to Yoongi’s voicemail again, he hangs up and dials your number instead.
“Kookie?” Your groggy voice greeting him when you answer the phone tells him that he did disturb your sleep.
“I’m sorry for waking you up, baby, but this is important. Do you know where Yoongi is? I tried calling him but it keeps going to voicemail.”
He can hear the bed sheets shuffle from your end as you rouse yourself up at his tone. At this point you don’t even need to ask him what he needs Yoongi for. “He must have stayed at the lab overnight and didn’t charge his phone,” you say briskly, completely awake now. Soft, distant bangs of the closet transmits through the phone and Jungkook assumes that you’re changing into fresh clothes. “I’ll drive to the university and find him now.”
“Great. I’ll let you know where to find us. If we can ever figure out where we’re going.” Jin, who is listening in on the conversation, lifts his hand up in the universal language to wait just a little more. On the other hand, Hoseok is too absorbed in the map to focus on anything else.
“Sorry, baby,” Jungkook apologises again, and after you assure him that it’s fine and wish him good luck, he hangs up. Just then Hoseok beckons for him to come closer, pointing at the marked red squares on the monitor.
“I don’t know what animal we’re looking for, so there are quite a few slaughterhouses to check out,” the botany expert explains the numerous red spots on the screen, and Jungkook bites back a curse. The closest one has to be an hour’s drive away from their current location.
“Let’s get moving,” Jungkook quickly doles out commands to the search teams, mostly ready and waiting, their response now getting faster as they gain more experience with each case. There’s no time to wait for Yoongi. Besides, the last evidence; the necklace with the blood vial, is going with Jin to the lab, so they can proceed without the pedologist.
As Jungkook presses his foot on the accelerator pedal of the car harder than necessary, speeding towards one of the nearest destinations, he mentally compares the dead girl they have just left to the photo Taehyung has shown him earlier. A proper identification still needs to be done, but she is definitely Linda, who is best friends with Taehyung’s girlfriend. Jungkook’s heart grows heavier, knowing that this means that the girl they are now looking for is most likely Dinah, the girl Taehyung didn’t manage to meet up with last night.
Hoseok points out the first Monterey pine that they come across, describing the features of the tall tree; the needle-like leaves growing in threes, thin and blunt at the tips, the long, brown cones attached to the branches at oblique angles, and the dark grey bark. Jungkook quietly stores away the information should he need it in the future, but he is more driven to find the second missing girl. The search teams move from slaughterhouse to slaughterhouse, most of them medium in size, but some large, and all of them empty. As Jin has informed them before they parted ways, slaughtering of animals is usually done in autumn or early winter, so that large quantities of meat can be preserved more easily.
Precious minutes pass into an hour, then two, each making Jungkook more anxious. His phone is clutched tightly in his hand, desperate for a call from Jin, but is quickly forgotten in the frantic search until it finally rings.
“Hello?” Jungkook picks up the call, but he can hardly make out the reply due to the horrible cell phone signal in the rural area they are presently in.
“Tried to… can’t reach you… the blood…” The voice is a garbled version of Jin’s normally melodic tone.
“What?” Jungkook raises his voice, although that hardly helps the bad connection.
“… pig! PIG!” The older man shouts the most vital information through the phone, and Jungkook runs to find Hoseok immediately.
“It’s pig’s blood,” Jungkook relays the detail to Hoseok, who pulls up three addresses at once.
“They’re not very far from here,” he says, and Jungkook thanks his lucky stars, even though it may be premature as he ropes in the botanist with him to head to the furthest pig abattoir. The other two teams are investigating the other places Hoseok has listed. Jungkook supposes that ‘not very far’ is relative, since it takes them twenty minutes to reach the building, which is small in comparison to the previous slaughterhouses.
As with the other abattoirs, this one is empty except for the equipment and tools stored for when the place is used to butcher pigs. Jungkook walks across the enormous room next to Hoseok, passing the overhead rail where the dressing hooks are fastened, all dangling without the burden of the slaughtered pigs, past the dehairing machine and scalding vat, all empty, right to the stunning pen.
“Ugh, I’m not so sure I want to know where my meat is coming from –” Hoseok’s mutters stop when they round the corner into the holding pen. The sight that awaits them there is the most gruesome that Jungkook has ever seen.
Afternoon sunlight shines into the otherwise dark room, illuminating a towering wooden frame standing in the middle of the space. An honest-to-God guillotine. The sound of Hoseok’s footsteps rushing out, retching is hardly registered by Jungkook, as his ears are drowned by the loud, furious thumping of his angry heart.
The weighted blade has been released, the wood surrounding it now stained red by the blood of its kill. No container has been placed to catch the severed part. Therefore, a sickening lurch threatens to turn Jungkook’s stomach inside out when he spots Dinah’s decapitated head lying not far from the contraption. Before he weakens and joins Hoseok in vomiting the contents of his stomach outside, Jungkook quickly canvasses the scene and leaves the building, barking out orders for the other crime scene officers to follow up.
As soon as they start the drive back to the city, Jungkook and Hoseok, now joined by Namjoon, dissect the latest case. Before leaving, Jungkook has managed to keep his wits and cool about long enough to examine the holding pen. A candle had been placed underneath the rope holding up the eerily sharp blade. Namjoon estimates that they only had four to six hours before the flame from the candle burnt through the rope, releasing the heavy blade and killing the poor student. Explaining to Taehyung that his girlfriend has been killed so mercilessly isn’t going to be easy.
As a result, Jungkook is physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted when he finally drives home, but his mind refuses to stop thinking about this series of murders. This time, the clues were fairly easy to decipher, however, it comes with a cost. It doesn’t slip his notice that the time allotted for them to find the second girls are growing less with each case. They had five days at the start, cut down several for the second one, then the time was shortened to one night, and this time they only had several hours. Likewise, the cool down period between the kidnappings are also growing shorter. He can’t help but lament the fact that the rush to find the second victims distracts them from finding the root of the problem – the killer.
“Kookie! I tried to call, but I couldn’t seem to reach you,” your voice is both anxious and hopeful at the same time as you open the door with Yoongi standing right behind you. A rueful shake of Jungkook’s head tells both of you all you need to know; with his failure, the body count has increased.
“I’m so sorry. I was so busy with work that I forgot to charge my phone,” Yoongi apologises as you grab Jungkook’s trembling hand with both your own. Jungkook assures your friend that his presence wouldn’t have helped much in this instance, but before he can go into any details, another figure emerges from inside the house.
“Don’t you guys think it’ll be better to talk inside?”
Guilt fills Jungkook when he sees Jimin. He can’t even remember when he last saw his best friend since his childhood days. However, Jimin’s sweet smile hasn’t changed, and it assuages the tumultuous emotions raging within Jungkook as they all move the discussion indoors.