Jia Zhang (jia_zhang) wrote in ubv_the_series,
Jia Zhang

UNA BELLA VITA. "Painted Streets"

Episode 14. "Painted Streets"

Kim Heechul liked to think that he was not an idiotic baboon with the IQ of a blob of wasabi, despite what Hankyung liked to tell him on a daily basis. Sure, he has never had a good sense of organization, but he did his job well. Misaki likened him to a mini-terrorist, because that’s all he was good for: chaos and destruction. But Kim Heechul was sure—absolutely sure—that he wasn’t an idiot.

If there was anything he’s learned in the years he’s worked for the Hayashi family it’s that things are first and foremost never as they appear to be. Things never remain as they are, and so one has to learn to adapt in order to meet their desired goals. And Kim Heechul only had one pulsating goal—to find Brian Joo, and kill him. By any means necessary. No matter what he had to do.


Heechul knew, however, that the right person to kill him—the person who deserved to take Brian’s life—was probably Boa. It was right, divinely and poetically just, Heechul thinks, for her to take that last breath from Brian like glorious Clytemnestra with her mighty axe. After all, out of everyone, Brian has taken the most from Boa.


But Heechul thinks it’s his responsibility to eliminate him, even if he did not deserve that pleasure. After all, Brian Joo was a venomous serpent whom Heechul had found and cared for and nurtured—brought him into their world. He was the one who allowed Brian to escape, and thus come back from the dead. It was Heechul alone who allowed Brian to poison them all, and he thinks it is now his responsibility—his duty as a man—to finish what he began.


The dark haired man sighs as he opens his eyes to see Junsu, eyes wide with fear, staring at him in the confines of a cold concrete room. They were secluded together, standing a few meters apart. There wasn’t a single person around. On the walls and floor were stains of dried blood, which had dyed the concrete a horrid shade of wine. Inside this room, men were killed and beaten, broken and made. And in this room, Heechul knew that he was about to change everything—especially this man named Kim Junsu.


“Hee-Heechul-san, what—?” the boy begins


“I’m not going to kill you, if that’s what you’re thinking,” Heechul barks lightly as Junsu gulps nervously. “I think I should be honest with you, considering what you’re going to be doing. I’m not going to leave you out to dry.” He leans forward, pulling out a gun, extending the butt towards Junsu. “Take it.” The otaku blinks at the older man stupidly, unsure of what to do. “Take it,” Heechul assures again.


Slowly, Junsu reaches forward with a trembling hand to take the weapon. “W-What…?” he mumbles, looking at the object in his hand.


“Junsu, I’m going to be honest with you for a second. Everyone thinks I’m going to have you play your brother to get close to Leehom and Brian, which in a way I am…” he says. “But that’s not my real goal at all. But the truth is, Jun-chan, what I had intended to do with Junho was to let him be Brian’s mole.”


“W-What?” Junsu frowns, looking at the older man in confusion.


“You know by now, I’m sure, of the conflict going on between the Hayashi-gumi and the Yoshio-kai. Everybody in Tokyo knows about it. Everybody in fucking Japan knows about it. Well, Brian Joo…” Heechul pauses, grinning darkly. “He’s really the one who’s behind all of this. All of the death and destruction. He’s the brains behind this entire conflict. He forced us to show our hand. And I’m going to kill him. By having him come after me.”




The porcelain faced man sighs. “I wanted to find Junho, to force him to work for me. But I knew that Brian would find out, and he’d have Junho watching me and giving him information about the family—which Junho would. Brian would look for a hole, some space to get in through our defenses, and finish us off. And the first person he’d go after is me.”


“So…you were going to have nii-chan…be a double agent of sorts?”


“Kind of. Just unintentional. Junho wouldn’t be smart enough to watch his moves; watching him, I’d know what Brian would play. It would only be a matter of time before Brian moved, and I would know, I would be waiting for him. I had it all planned out. But then you came along…”


Junsu gulps and pales. “Sorry.”


“I think this was all supposed to happen in a strange way,” Heechul admits with a sly grin. “Now, I don’t fucking believe in that fate crap, but ever since I was young, someone told me that every man has only one destiny. It’s the person we were meant to become. I don’t think you were supposed to be some idiot sitting in a pornstore, watching some Anime on his laptop.”


“B-But I don’t want this!” Junsu yelps. “I never wanted to be part of any of this. I didn’t even know about any of this…and I…”


“We never choose who we want to be—we simply are, Junsu,” Heechul says, eyes cast towards the floor. “There’s no way Brian is stupid enough to fall for even a body switch, no matter how much you look like Junho.”


“So what do you want me for, then?” Junsu asks anxiously. “If I can’t be my brother, what do you want from me?”


“I want you to be you,” Heechul grins, flashing bright eyes. “This is what’s gonna happen when we throw you to the wolves. You’ll meet Leehom. He won’t figure you out till later; it’ll take him a bit, because he’s stupid like that. Be Junho until he finds out. And he will find out you aren’t your brother. When he does, tell him everything we have talked about and instructed you. Except for right now. Nothing gets out of this room. No body will know about this, except you and I, kiddo. And if you dare to fucking tell a single soul, I will kill you.”


Despite the fear bubbling like magma in his stomach, Junsu knew something was not right. “W-Why…don’t you want your…your…guys to know?”


“Because the less people know, the less likely this will go south. The less likely Brian will find out what I’ve planned. When Leehom finds out you’re not Junho and what I’ve planned, he’ll tell Brian, and Brian will do exactly what I know he will do, which is watch and wait for an opportunity. I have to know that he’s waiting for me. There’s a good chance this could go very bad, and in preparation for that, I have to make sure I know how things are going to end up before they do.” Heechul pauses. “It’s a Kansas City shuffle…everybody goes right, and you go left.” He grins to himself. “Best fucking strategy Jaejoong ever came up with…”


Heechul sighs as he turns back to Junsu. “I know you don’t want to be part of this, but like I said before, Junho decided that for you the moment he chose this life. But don’t worry, kid, I told you I’d look after you. That’s why I’m telling you the truth. Trust me to get you out, too. And then we’ll be even. Your family’s debt will be clean, and you and your brother won’t ever be part of this anymore.”


“You…you promise?” Junsu asks.


“I swear. On everything that I am,” Heechul replies, his face solemn, and Junsu knew the older man was telling the truth. “Now, Junsu yah…let’s teach you some things so you don’t end up dead before this is all over, ‘kay?”


Junsu gulps nervously, watching a Cheshire grin spread across Heechul’s face as he begins his education with the strange yakuza.






The echo of a soft low voice rouses Yeonhee from the embrace of Morpheus. She stirs, golden brow eyes opening to meet the darkness of her bedroom. The soft silk of her blankets kisses her nude body; she swings an arm over, reaching for Hankyung, only to find her bedside cold and empty. She turns, eyes catching a glimmer of light.


Yeonhee turns, lift her body onto her elbow. She rubs her eyes lightly as she hears Hankyung’s soft voice from the bathroom of her apartment. The door closed, except for a small slit of light. She blinks slowly, looking into the bathroom; reflected in the mirror, she saw Hankyung, dressed only in pair of boxers, a somber expression on his face. He held a cell phone to his ear, speaking to someone intently.


It was two in the morning; Yeonhee knew was this was about.


When Yeonhee was little, she had often seen her father leaving in the middle of the night, disappearing into the darkness like oni. It wasn’t till she was older when she learned from her cousins what those late night excursions were for; till she understood what her father did, and now what Hankyung does.


“No…no,” she hears Hankyung say, almost angrily. “I’m not taking any risks on this. This is the largest shipment we’ve had coming in for weeks. I’m not risking any involvement with the police. I don’t care—”


Yeonhee is silent as she watches her lover through the crack of light. It is only during such moments that she is reminded of just who Hankyung really is, and what he did—he was a made man, like her father, who will always uphold Hayashi loyalty above everything, even herself. This was the lesson she had learned through the years, especially through her own mother.


There was nothing of worth more to Hayashi Mariko than the well-being of the Hayashi clan and the family’s survival. Yeonhee did not have a caring mother; she did not have the same mother other children had. Her mother was a vicious and terrifying woman, frigid like the northern wind, who’s expectations Yeonhee could never meet—she had no plans to follow her mother’s footsteps. Yeonhee remembers when she was thirteen, she had heard her usher a warrant of death.


“No, there are no other choices that we can make,” her mother had said to Madarame Terunosuke, one of the Captains of the family. “Make sure Toshimane does not come back, Madarame. I do not want to hear that man’s name again.”


Just like that, her mother, behaving as if she were some god, had stolen a man’s life without caring for the consequences. This Yeonhee could not understand—she could not understand her mother’s ways, or her brothers’, or Hankyung’s. She did not understand how they could throw their convictions and morals away like rotten fish. She could not understand their resolve and their loyalty towards her uncle.


She had asked her Aunt Misook, the oyabun’s wife, once when she was young, when she first realized how she felt about Hankyung, why she chose to marry such a man as her uncle.


Kim Misook, a beautifully aged woman with honey coloured eyes like her two daughters and a kind smile like her son, had beamed kindly at Yeonhee and replied, “I love my husband. That is all there is to it. Takeshi-san is a good man.”


“But…but…you know what this family is…What he does…How can you forgive that?” Yeonhee murmurs heatedly.


“That is only one view of things, Yuhi-san,” she said. “One man sees silver where there is iron; another sees copper where there is gold. There are no one set of rules for all, because people are different, full of variety. Nothing is so supreme that it dictates all of Man to be the same; to think and be and value all things as equal. Takeshi-san…this family has offered so much to so many people that society has tossed aside. Takeshi-san takes care of his people and his family. This world is just as fair as any other, Yeonhee, and we should respect it just as much.”


Yeonhee took Misook’s words to heart, for she loved Hankyung dearly, so fervently that it took her breath away. And so she tries to ignore the other side of him, the side which he works so much so she would not see. When they are together, there is never talk of business or the family. When they are together, there are only soft kisses and warm embraces.


But Yeonhee knew, as she heard the commands uttered by the same mouth that told her ‘I love you’, that she would not be able to escape the world that killed her father if she continued to love such a man like Hankyung.


If she continued to love this man, she knew she would one day end up just like her mother.


If she continued to love this man, she would never be free.


“I don’t care what you fucking have to do, Jaebum. Just get rid of him. Do whatever you have to. I want a clean shipment to come in—I want to tell the oyabun some good news. If we get slammed with fucking Yoshio again, I’m going to kick your ass, got it?” Hankyung barks softly. “Good. Okay. Okay. Take Taeckyeon with you as well. Alright.”


She heard him sigh as he closes the phone. She turns just as Hankyung exits the bathroom. He crawls into bed, wrapping his arms around her body tender. Yeonhee leans into his embrace instinctively.


“Did I wake you?” he asks, placing a soft kiss against her bare shoulder.


“No…” she replies. “Was it anything important?”


“No,” Hankyung replies. “It was nothing.”


“Okay,” Yeonhee says, becoming an accomplice in his lie.


The dark haired woman lies awake in the darkness, feeling her lover’s breath against her skin, feeling him slowly fall into a deep sleep. And alone with her thoughts, she wraps Hankyung’s arms tighter around herself, wondering why it felt so wonderful to be inside a murderer’s embrace.






Tablo blinks in surprise, watching his cousin Changmin sprint down the hall and into a bathroom. Worried, he follows after the younger man, who Tablo was sure had just come out of a meeting of the heads of the family. Frowning, the dark haired writer stands outside as he hears his cousin vomit into the toilet.


“Min-chan?” Tablo says anxiously. “Are you okay?”


However, the only reply he received was the sound of Changmin throwing up his insides, choking with a shuddering, terrified sob. Tablo hears sniffling in the bathroom. He sighs lightly, “Min-chan? Seriously, what happened? I’m coming in, okay?”


Slowly, Tablo slides open the door to see the brown haired younger man sprawl on the floor beside the toilet, eyes red. He was trembling, shaking so terribly that Tablo thought he would shatter into sand at any moment. Changmin quivers as he looks up at the older man. “Tablo-nii…” he says shaking. “I-I…”


“What happened?” Tablo says with a worried frown as he closes the door, falling to his knees in front of the boy. “You’re shaking, Min…”


Changmin’s face is twisted in a grimace as he covers his mouth with his hand. “What the fuck is with this family?” he says. “What the fuck is with this family, nii-san? I mean—I mean, I thought I knew…I thought I knew, what with all the crap Yunho-nii has been telling me…but…but hearing it…with my own ears…I just…” He stops, eyes wide with horror as he stares at Tablo. “We kill people, nii-san…we kill people…for money, for revenge…we kill people…” Changmin utters the last words incredulously, almost as if he didn’t believe what he was saying.


“Min, what were you doing? Were you in that meeting with the heads?” the writer asks.


Changmin nods his head rapidly, wide terrified eyes starring pointedly at his elder cousin. “I…I don’t know what I was thinking…” he half-laughs. “I guess…I guess I was trying to be a good son, like Jin was…like Jin was…I want—I wanted to help my Dad, do something for him…he’s dying, and I…I just wanted to be his son…”


“Min ah…”


“But I’m not, nii-san,” the dark haired boys says dejectedly. “I’m not the man my father is…I’m not the man my brother was. Jinho died…he was killed…and I don’t even know how to begin to be like him. I don’t know how to be like them, nii-san…I don’t know…I…”


Tablo sighs as he watches Changmin rub his hands over his face, as if to scrub off some awful stain.


“I can’t do this…I can’t…I’m not like my father…I’m just not,” he says.


“You took your father’s place?” Tablo asks softly, holding Changmin by the arms, trying to settle the younger man. “In the meetings? So you know?”


“I’m supposed to be his ears…to tell him what I hear and speak for him…I don’t know what he expects me to see…to think…” the dark haired boy shudders. “All of this…I don’t know what to think…”


“What did they say in there?” Tablo whispers, his voice low. “What are they planning?”


“Nothing for now…there was so much. I didn’t know just…how big this family was…” Changmin says monotonously. “They were talking about the shipments of weapons coming in…it’s going to be a transfer sale to some gangs in China. I have to tell father…how many hits the Yoshio have taken on our business…he has…to figure out how they are finding out about our business. The heads want to make sure Yoshio’s people don’t find out and raid or something…and then they talked about Brian…”


“About Brian?” Tablo asks, curiously, feeling interested at the fact that the heads of the clan were speaking so directly and openly about Brain Joo. “What did they say? Did they find out something?”


“Yeah…they said that Jaejoong found out who was backing Brain. They had him killed. So Brian doesn’t have a backer anymore. He was a Yoshio lieutenant, a Kanagawa Izumi…”


“Wait, who?” Tablo frowns.


“Kanagawa Izumi…Apparently, he’s worked for the Yoshio-kai for years. He’s a Zainichi, though.”


“Is his name…Lee Youngmin?”


Changmin blinks in surprise. “Yeah…Yeah…that’s right, how’d you know that, nii-san?”


“Huh. Well, that sure makes things interesting…” Tablo murmurs.


“Who…is he, nii-san?” Changmin asks curiously.


Lee Youngmin…we’ll, to say the least, his father used to work for our family,” Tablo replies. “The Lees seem to have a bit of traitorous streak…”


“Wait, what?” says the boy, eyes widening in shock.


“It was long before Dad became oyabun…from what I know, it was during the time when the Hayashi-gumi were in conflict with another syndicate, back when grandfather was still alive. Youngmin’s family defected just before grandfather died and Dad took over, during that war…” Tablo says. “It’s kind of interesting that Youngmin is backing Brian just like…” The older man pauses, eyes narrowing in thought. “No…there’s no way…Uncle Ryuji said they were all killed…but…it would make sense…it would make a lot of sense…because, if anything, this is all very personal…but how…it just…” 


Tablo’s lips are pursed together firmly as he pauses, brows furrowed deeply. His cousin looks at him curiously, watching the perturbed expression on the writer’s face. “Tablo-nii? What is it? What are you talking about?”


“Nothing, just a little thought. A little theory, if you will,” Tablo speaks thoughtfully. “Min ah…can you take me to your Dad? I think Tsutomu-san and I should talk… then I should probably…talk to my father…if he hasn’t already thought of it…”


“Nii-san, what is it? What does this Lee Youngmin have to do with Brian?”


“I…I don’t know…I’m not sure…but I think…” Tablo says, eyes widening in anxiousness. “I think if what I think turns out to be right, then we have a big problem…”






Jaejoong’s work led him to a man named Izaki Yuuichi, who he waits for in the vibrant scarlet darkness of Kabukicho. There are numerous people on the streets, patrolling for sex and booze, searching for paradise within the confines of a brightly lit hell. Jaejoong grimaces in the cool night as he watches a young woman disappear behind shady doors with a man much too old for her. The dark haired man hated this place far more than he could say; unless it was for work, he never entered the painted streets of Kabukicho.


He truly loathed this place. He hated this place that turned Man into an animal, this place that rotted out a person’s soul, this place that was filled with nothing but lies and delusion, poison and lust.


This place where he was born.


This place where his mother was murdered.


This place that stole his life.


—this place, where on a rainy night, he was saved from.


But now was not the time to ponder the past. Clad in a long black coat, Jaejoong sighs as he blows gently into his hands hot breath. He shivers in the late night, blending into the walls like a chameleon. He stands in a small alley nook, waiting for his prey to arrive. Behind him, he hears a young girl run out and vomit into the gutters before her pimp pulls her back in by the hair—they do not notice the ghost that’s amongst them.


He checks his watch; Izaki would arrive soon for a meeting at a brothel. Izaki was crooked cop, a pedophile, and Jaejoong’s sources told him that he frequented one particular brothel for their luscious young girls. And it would be here that Jaejoong would strike like a sparkling guillotine. Removing someone like Izaki would ensure that various shipments of goods by the family would enter and leave Japan easily.


Suddenly, from the corner of his eye, the dark haired man notices a car pull up in front of the brothel. Out steps Izaki Yuuichi with a greasy smile on his face, his hair slicked back, a large burn mark on his hand. He grins as he enters the brothel, murmuring a few words to the pimp at the door.


A few moments later, Jaejoong follows Izaki into the brothel. The pimp at the door barely sees him, only nodding at him and letting him pass, valuing him the same as any other customer. Jaejoong gives no hints of what his goals are. He pays a hundred thousand yen to the madam at the door and is led to a small room with nothing more than a small table and a bed. He hears Izaki’s laughter in the distance.


The girl he’s presented with must be no older than fifteen, scantily dressed in a lacey top and panties. She had large doe-like eyes and soft rosy lips. Her hair was dyed and dirty, and she looked tired and broken. She eyes Jaejoong up and down. “You don’t look bad,” she remarks as if she were years older than him. “Pity you aren’t here for me…”


“No, I am not…” he says as he pulls out a roll of bills and tosses it to the girl.


“Is it for me?” she says, eyes widening as she looks at the huge amount of money in her small hands.


“It is for your life. I do not want to kill you,” he responds.


“Even if you did kill me, it wouldn’t be so bad,” she laughs as she counts the bills. “Do you want anything? I’m good.”


“Go out. Tell me in which room there is a cop with a burn on his hand. Tell me how many are with him,” he instructs swiftly. The girl nods obediently as she saunters out, telling the pimp at the door her client wanted drinks. She comes back quickly, resting a few bottles of beer on the table. “He’s in the last room on the end of the hall on the right. One of the larger guest rooms. He’s meeting with about three other people and two girls.”


Jaejoong nods as he stands, pulling out his gun from his breast pocket. He clicks off the safety and places a silencer on the nose, leaning lightly against the wall as he waits. The girl eyes him and the weapon curiously in silence. “Are you going to kill that guy?” she asks, but Jaejoong does not answer. “You’re going to kill that guy…that’s good. They should die. All of them.” But once again, Jaejoong does not respond.


The auburn haired girl blinks as she watches Jaejoong. “My name is Sunmi, but everyone calls me Mimi, what’s yours, sir?” she asks. However, the older man remains silent. “You must be a good person if you are here to kill people.” She counts the bills in her hands again. “This is a lot of money…I could probably get away this time.”


Jaejoong watches the young girl out of the corner of his eye, watches as she smiles at the freedom in her hand. She had small scars and bruises all over her body, and from the way she behaved, Jaejoong suspects she must have been in the business for the a few years now. He checks his watch again. It was almost time.


“You should wear something,” he says suddenly. Sunmi’s head snaps up at the sound of his voice. “It is cold outside.”


Sunmi blinks curiously. “What?”


“In a few moments, it will be chaos here,” he remarks plainly as he edges closer to the door, causing Sunmi to smile in understanding.


“Okay,” she says. “Thank you.”


Jaejoong eyes her, small and smiling on the bed, before he steps into the hall.


He avoids the guards easily as he heads down the hall under the girl’s instructions. He could hear Izaki’s voice in the distance. He spots a guard at the door. He sneaks up on him like a shadow, snapping the man’s neck swiftly, killing him in an instant.


Jaejoong moves to the side, blended in the darkness as he peers into the light from the crack of the door, gun poised and aimed at a laughing Izaki with a young girl in his arms. Abruptly, the man beside Izaki shifts, and his face comes into view. Jaejoong’s eyes widen in the shadows as his arm goes slack as he watches the man’s face—his Cheshire grin, the scar that ran from the corners of his mouth, and his black eyes like two stones.


The blood drains out of Jaejoong as his childhood comes rushing back to him like the sound of hysterical laughter. The images flash before his eyes like camera lights. There’s ringing in his ears so loud he thought his head would split open. He stares at the man in the room as his world flushed scarlet like the lights of Kabukicho.


It was the man in black.


“This…is the man who killed your mother…”


The man in the photo.


“Jaejoong…go hide…don’t say word…No matter what happens…”


The man with the scarred smile.


“Joongie…Joongie…I…I lo…”


The one who loomed over his mother’s bloodied body with a cruel, taunting jester grin.


By sheer coincidence—in the place of his birth, the place where he lost everything—Jaejoong is reacquainted with the man who killed his mother.





“Fuck my life,” Junsu cringes as he hides in a corner, hands over his head, clutching a gun for dear life, as bullets flew around him like crazy. “Seriously, fuck my life.”


Junsu did not know how his life ended up this way, where he was currently hiding behind the table of a Chinese restaurant from being shot at by yakuza. A few months ago, he was a free man—a student whose only worry was whether or not he would get to see Morning Musume in concert or when the next chapter of Bleach would come out so he could find out what happened in the battle between Soul Society and Aizen. This is not a scenario Junsu ever thought he’d be in, unless they were talking about video games or self-insertation fanfiction.


But here he was, in the middle of a yakuza war, pretending to be his brother, working for a crazy man with a crazy plan, with a gun in his hand, being shot at from everywhere.


“Fuck my life,” Junsu whines as he covers his ears from the loud shots.


“Hey, Junho, gimme a hand here!” Junsu turns to see Leehom, a tall Chinese man with a large nose, shooting viciously beside him. “I can’t take all these guys by myself!”


“It’s okay! I know you can do it! I’ll just be in the way!” Junsu shouts back, clutching the gun Heechul gave him tighter to his chest.


“C’mon, dude! I know you suck at shooting a gun and stuff, bro, but you still know how to use one! Just point and fucking shoot!” Leehom shouts amidst the violence of the gunfight.


Oh, so my brother’s fired a gun, too, Junsu thinks dejectedly. What hasn’t nii-chan done? Had sex with a unicorn? Swam across the ocean? Married a Chobit? Sold my soul? Oh, wait, he already did that.


“Junho, man, c’mon!” Leehom urges. “I need you, man!”


“Oh fuck,” Junsu swears, even though he doesn’t swear much, but this situation felt really appropriate. Plus, Junho always swore a lot. He gulps as he looks at the gun in his hand and grimaces. He sighs as he tries to recall his lessons with Heechul, where the older man basically spent countless hours just viciously screaming at him. He clicks off the safety, gulps nervously as he grips the handle, his finger rested on the trigger.


He closes his eyes, points his arm over the table and screams loudly as he pulls the trigger rapidly.


“AAAH!!!” Junsu screams as he felt his hand kick back from the each pull of the trigger.


“Chill, Ho, chill!” Leehom suddenly says, resting a hand on Junsu’s shoulder. The otaku heaves deep anxious breathes as he retracts his hand, the weapon trembling in his fingers. “Dude, they’re gone…”


“Whoa…” Junsu mumurs to himself as he looks at the gun in his hand.


“Yeah, whoa is right, man,” Leehom murmurs as he rises. “Man, my aunt’s gonna be fucking pissed. This place is trashed…” He scratches his head as he looks around the bullet ridden room. He looks down to see Junsu still on the ground. “Yo, Junho, man, you okay? Junho?”


At the sound of his brother’s name, Junsu looks up at the hall Chinese man, mouth agape. “I-I-I…I just shot a gun…”


Leehom grins. “Yo, Ho, ain’t nuttin’! That was fucking sick! We just fought off a bunch of Hayashi guys!” He grabs Junsu off the ground harshly, patting him on the shoulder. “You did good, dude. But damn! It’s nice to see you back!” he says, grabbing the other man in a friendly if not slightly violent hug. “I totally thought you were gone, like, for good, dude…”


“I…uh…I-uh…just…just…needed to deal with some stu…some shit…” Junsu says, looking around curiously as he tries to remember what Heechul told him.


“Did you pay off your debts with Wakao?” Leehom asks as he lifts the tables and chairs back into place.


“K-Kind of…” Junsu replies.


“Man, it’s so good to see you!” Leehom smiles cheerily. “And it was so fucking awesome! You walk through the door and then bam! The Hayashi guys hit us! It’s fucking dope!”


Junsu knew, however, it was all a set up by Heechul to make things seem legit and make Leehom trust him instantly, to suspect that Junsu was only his brother, returning from hiding out. Heechul had firmly instructed Junsu before dumping him in the streets of Chinatown with a gun in his pocket. The plan was to get Junsu in without too many questions, and a distraction with a shoot out seemed like a perfectly good idea (with everyone but Junsu).


“After all, once you share a gun fight with a man, you’re like friends for life or something,” Heechul had said. “And Leehom is like a pussy for that kind of shit…he’ll be putty in your hands, kiddo.”


Junsu hopes he didn’t hit anybody with his spazztic shooting. But no matter how stupid it was of a plan, it seemed to have worked alright. Leehom really did believe Junsu was Junho.


“So, dude, now that you’re back, man, can we finally talk about you joining the ranks?” Leehom says excitedly.


Junsu stops and turns to Leehom with wide surprised eyes and blinks at the Chinese man. “Wait, what?”


Leehom laughs good-heartedly. “You know! C’mon, Ho, you remember right, dude? We, like, totally talked about this! You joining us! It’s like time, dude!”


“Jun—I mean, I’m supposed to be joining you…as a yakuza…?” Junsu says slowly.


“Of course! We were all ready to make your bones and stuff before you skipped out!” Leehom says excitedly. “Man, we’re gonna hit you up with my bosses and get this shit done! Welcome to the family, Junho!”


“So…we’re going to go meet your boss, arrange things, and then…make my bones…so…I’m supposed to kill someone?” Junsu asks with wide anxious eyes.


“Yeah, dude! Obviously!” Leehom grins, slapping an arm around Junsu’s shoulders. “Man, I can’t wait for my buddy to become one of us. It’ll be great! C’mon, dude, I’ll take you to a soapland and we’ll have some fun with the ladies!”


“Oh crap,” Junsu says miserably as Leehom drags him out of the bullet ridden restaurant. “Fuck my life.”

1) Kabukicho: the red-light district of Tokyo

Tags: !season one, episode: 14. "painted streets"
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