Authors: butterflyweb and nemesis_cry
Characters/Pairing: Heechul, Shiwon, Hankyung
Summary: Missing scene from Acts of Insurrection. The bounty hunter's POV. How one man ended up hunting for Guard deserters.
He thinks he's a pixie like the one from stories of old. No one can see him but those who are pure of heart. Or those who've got a full set of credits. Or those with surprisingly good eyesight. Which isn't to say Heechul makes any effort to hide himself. On dark, weather-beaten corridors of the spaceport, he knows he stands out. For one, he's got red hair and painted nails when you'd expect tattoos and muscles bursting out of his shirt. More than one smuggler does a double take but so far none have followed. It's almost disappointing, putting it all out there without getting any attention in return.
The tavern he choses is one he knows well. Amrit flows cheaply and he's made some of his best deals there. Half the bar is full of former contacts--most of whom he owes money. Instead of staying away, he steps through the sliding doors, arming himself with a half-smirk and his hand hovering above his sidearm. He likes challenging himself, otherwise life would be just too boring.
The seedy establishment is littered with the Empire's dreck; smugglers and cons to professional hits. Each and every man in it for their own profit. Even those who come to pitch a deal rather than accept one. Wealthy spicelords and pimps, mobsters and even the occasional cuckolded husband. Calculating looks passed over alcohol and port wine. An atmosphere that no matter how hard they try, nor how plainly they dress, the soldiers in the corner can not fully penetrate.
Slouched in his chair, the larger of the two sips at his drink, eyes roving over the possibilities the room presents. Professional, had been the orders. Easily kept in hand.
The redhead takes a seat at the bar, eyes boring into his back and no credits in his hand. The bartender knows him, it's obvious in the fleeting smile that crosses the man's face as he pours him a drink. They don't talk, it's probably safer.
"Where's the music?" Heechul grins. "I feel like I'm attending a funeral and the Gods know I haven't set foot at a dead man's party in years." That, he figures, is for a different sort of man. Preferably the kind with time to spare.
No reply is given and evidently none is need. Drink in hand, Heechul hesitates but briefly before going for the disk distributor.
It's a good enough time as any to approach, the dark man decides, and with a nod to his companion, he stands from the rickety table and crosses the crowded space. The redhead is pouring over music selections, sipping at whatever fighter fuel passes for liquor in this place. Hand lingering over the butt of his gun, he inclines his head, getting right to business. Time isn't to be wasted on pleasantries with this man's sort.
"Kim Heechul?" It's more of a confirmation than an inquiry.
An eyebrow arches inquisitively, but the bounty hunter makes no further move to acknowledge him. Many a man here would like a piece of him--in both a literal and figurative sense--if he starts to worry, he'll never stop. So instead, he picks a song he thinks he used to like about an eternity ago and downs the cheap Amrit in one gulp. If he makes it out of here alive, he might as well make it out alive and get laid.
A hand shoots up to cover his shoulder. It bothers him.
"The fuck you want?"
An impassive gaze mets the words. "Your services, Mr. Kim." It's overtly formal, and the soldier clings to that, putting as much distance as he can between this man's trade and his own honor. Duty demands that he stand here with him, he sees no reason to be equal with the man in any other way.
Heechul's glare softens, but then that might be the effect of the music or the liquor. "Got the wrong man for the job, flyboy," he answers almost sweetly. "Catamites are next door."
He feels his face grow hot, fingers curling into fists. But he swallows it back, settling for an icy glare. "As you no doubt are familiar with, Mr. Kim. That is not what I'm speaking of."
"I don't make deals with the Guard," Heechul replies just as coolly. "Your lot tend to be skimpy on the payment." He has no desire to be thrown in jail after offering his services. Bounty hunters aren't as ill-treated as rebels, but usually the two are synonymous and to think he'd get a fair trial is about as likely as a return to the old regime.
His hand comes to rest on his gun, arching an eyebrow at the redhead. "What part of my offer made you think you had a choice in the matter?"
Typical, Heechul thinks. He had a feeling this morning that he shouldn't get out of his cot. Intent on blocking the man's gesture from the rest of the tavern's occupants, he slides around him, pressing him against the distributor without actual contact. "Walk me through this," he muses. "You pull a gun in a crowded bar where no doubt a lot of illegal, nasty things are going on and what? You hope for the best?" A snort. "The last thing that'll ensure your safety in a place like this is that nice little Guard badge you carry."
The other man tightens his jaw, shoulders military straight and idly, Heechul wonders if they don't have metal rods jammed up their asses per initiation. "You're making the mistake of assuming I'm the only Guard in here," the taller man returns, voice heavy with disdain. "I think you should be more concerned about what will happen to you should you have any involvement in the death of an officer."
It's a sad thing, but Heechul has to admit he hadn't thought that far. Backing off, he smirks. "My bad. What can I do you for?"
He's on his second drink, tapping short nails against the tabletop and staring incredulously between the two men--he pretends he can't remember their names. The squeaky clean image they project is enough to make him giggle, but he refrains from it. Neither the time nor the place.
"So let me get this straight. You, Guard people, want me to kidnap other Guard people?"
A slight sneer at that and somewhere, somehow, he's struck a nerve. Heechul smirks.
"They are not Guard," the taller of the two retorts, composure snapping for the briefest of moments. "They are deserters who must be put to trial. And yes, we are enlisting your help in tracking them and bringing them to justice." The even, high speech pauses for a moment, a tilt to the other man's head. "Unless you aren't capable."
"If I weren't capable, we wouldn't be having this conversation," Heechul retorts, a moment too slow to seem smooth. "Unless you haven't done your homework." He's the best, he knows he is. Or at least one of the best. He can afford arrogance. "How many and how much?"
"Two. 50,000 credits apiece. And our personal promise to make your life a living hell should you refuse."
There's no sugar-coating the threat in the man's calm expression. Heechul doesn't respond well to this kind of attitude, but then he doesn't usually respond well to the Guard either. He's never had the pretense of working with either before.
"That's some offer," he agrees. "Negotiable?"
An arched eyebrow. "You think you have something to negotiate with?"
"I love the Guard," he grins. "You boys seem to think you're the only ones who've got connections. Threaten me enough and I'll work with you, sure... but what's to stop me from delivering you two dead bodies? Burnt beyond recognition and fingerprinting...."
"You're not a contract killer," the blonde one notes.
Heechul smirks. "That's what the background check told you?"
The dark-haired man shakes his head. "You deliver us dead bodies, and you go without your reward straight to Imperial prison. Enough of a deterrent, Mr. Kim?"
He pouts, cracking his knuckles. "You're no fun at all. I'll need an incentive, though... 60k a head?"
Looks slide back and forth before there's a nod. "60k a head. Alive and unharmed."
"Fantastic," Heechul smiles, standing as slowly as he can. "If you found me, I'm sure you can find my ship and send me the details." He needs entertainment now. Too much business is bad for the soul. Too much dealing with the Guard can potentially be bad for his head. He doesn't want to do anything he'll regret.
"We'll find you, Mr. Kim. Have no doubt about that."
He doesn't. When the Guard has you, it never lets go.
If he were capable of compassion, he might feel sorry for the poor bastards who thought otherwise. His marks.
The names bleed in through his cortex precisely eight hour and twenty minutes later. As promised.
Heechul enters the coordinates of their last sighting and sets off.
About this community
Mods butterflyweb and nemesis_cry welcome you to Elysian Knights, a community dedicated to the fictional universe of the DBSK fanfic Acts of Contrition and its subsequent sequel, Acts of Insurrection.
Fics can be navigated according to the tags found here.
A tentative chronology of events in the verse:
Ego (Yunho-centri, HoMin)
Acts of Contrition (eventually OT5)
Contract (Heechul, Shihan)
Acts of Insurrection (OT5)
Amethyst (JaeMin, OT5)
Acts of Succession: Sunderance (OT5)
Acts of Succession: Solitude (broken!OT5)
Acts of Succession: Strength (YunChun, JaeMin, OT5)
You Make Me Want to Be A Man (HoSu, OT5, Utada/Bora)
Etchings (HoMin, YooSu, JaeHo, YooMin, JaeSu, MinSu, OT5)
Other AUs in the same verse: