I wanted to tell you… I really did…
Hongbin would watch you from afar, usually observing you talking with your friends and laughing. Sometimes when a guy would approach, he would shift in his seat nervously and watch you closely, tuning in with one of his powers of good hearing, he listened in as the guy flirted with your friend and you turned your attention to your phone. Getting up from his seat, he lifted his backpack up onto his shoulders and headed over to your direction, watching you stand up too, you gathered your books and slipped your backpack onto your shoulders as you looked over your shoulders to see Hongbin walking in your direction.
“Hey Hongbin!” You called as you walked next to him, your friend following suit.
“Where are you girls headed?” Hongbin asked, glancing in their direction, letting his eyes linger on your form a little longer than on your friend.
“Just to class” You shrug not finding it very exciting, “What about you?”
“Well…” He started before he heard a familiar chime come from his phone, pulling out his phone quickly, he read the message from his boss as he slowed his walk and slipped his phone back into his pocket. “I-I have something I have to go do for work.”
“What is it that you do?” Your friend chimed in as you shot her a look, knowing Hongbin doesn’t like to talk about his job or really anything outside of school.
“I deal with a lot of…” He paused trying to find the right word, “puzzles…”
“Ah~ Sounds like you are a secret agent!” She beamed a little too loudly as you hissed under your breath at her. Hongbin stopped in his tracks as you looked at his face, seeing it slightly contorted in discomfort and awkwardness.
“W-W-We have to g-go, I hope work all goes well” You smiled your words slightly rushed towards the end. Nodding, his fingers played with one another you pulled your friend along, your cheeks burning in blush while you bit down on the inside of your cheek.
“Why did you have to say that?” You questioned your friend, letting go of her arm a little while later.
“You’ve wanted to ask him that question for such a long time…” She told you as the two of you found your seats in class.
“I know, but you don’t have to force it” You whispered taking out your books as you tapped your pen against your paper through class. Drawing little puzzle pieces throughout your notes wondering what kinds of puzzles he was working with.
“Oh good Hongbin, you made it” His boss welcomed him as Hongbin bowed to the boss and a few other people in the room before taking his seat around the large glass table as everyone watched the animations hover in mid air.
“VENOM has made another move, he has created a weapon, one of great power.” The boss jumped right into his presentations before explaining what the weapon consisted of, “Injecting venom of the top five most venomous snakes of all time, he has taken over several of the National Politicians and landed them in the hospital with most of them in critical condition.”
“What about the others?” Someone asked that sat around the table
“They are dead if they aren’t in critical condition” The boss explained before returning his attention back to the screen. “He has been making plans to move from the west and travel east making sure to sweep the nation so that there is no other choice but to bow down to him and his powers.”
“Where is he going to hit first?” Hongbin questioned, swaying in his chair from side to side. The boss took in a deep breath before naming off the town where the two of you were going to college. Holding his breath instantly, he just nodded his head gently.
“Get ready” The boss broke the meeting as Hongbin stood up and started to head towards the door.
“Hongbin, hold on a moment” The boss held him back after everyone has left. “I want to put you on this case, with you going to school, you can watch over the campus.”
“But Sir, I am not fully trained yet” Hongbin blinked a few times in shock.
“I know, but you have more raw instinct than all of the other agents combined. We need you for this mission, besides, they say a Dark Phantom is the only one to overcome the most powerful challenge.” The boss rested his hand on Hongbin’s arm. “You can do this, just be on alert”
Bowing to his boss, he accepted the challenge and walked out of the room as hundreds of thoughts occupied his mind. Wondering down the dark halls, he rounded the corner and pushed open the doors to the gym. Heading over to the treadmills, he shuffled his jacket off of his shoulders before he began running, trying to work through his thoughts.
Exercise after exercise, Hongbin worked through his thoughts, getting through the weights and the cardio, he then worked on the punching bag as your face came to the front of his mind. His hardened fists slowly softened as your face filled his mind. Licking his pursed lips, his feet stopped bouncing against the floor as his coiled fists loosened. Resting his hand against the course fabric of the punching bag, he glanced up at the time before he headed towards the door.
Picking up his bag and his jacket, he unwrapped his hands from the tape encircling his palms and tossed it in the trash can before he pushed the door open and headed back to campus for class.
Settling into your seat, your eyes flickered to the doorway as you watched Hongbin walk in, trying hard not to look like you were looking at him, you flipped through some pages of your notes before Hongbin pulled out the seat next to you and eased himself down next to you.
“Is it okay if I sit here?” He asked gently as you looked at him and nodded with a smile.
“I didn’t expect you to be in this class today, since you got called into work” You remarked as you found the next blank page and played with the pen between your fingers.
“It was a mistake… the boss called me instead of another worker” His eyes met with yours as a light smile played on his lips.
“Ah… I see” You nodded your head as the teacher got the attention of the class and began his lecture.
A week or so passed as the two of you sat next to each other in class. However when you weren’t already in class when Hongbin arrived he began to worry. Watching the minute hand on the clock slowly move closer and closer to the the time that the class was going to start, his hands started to ring around one another as he pulled out his phone and looked desperately for your number.
Only finding your friend’s number, he selected her name before his thumbs danced across the screen, formulating a text that he quickly sent her.
Have you seen _____ today? -H
She was in class with me last hour
Do you know if she had an appointment or anything? - H
She should be in class, she is never one to miss class
The last text from your friend sent chills up his spine, waiting a few minutes nervously. He placed his phone on the top of his desk while he tried to study and listen to the teacher while he analyzed everyone’s face in the room, wondering if you choose another seat to sit in today.
His phone lit up beside him as his attention quickly shifted to the unknown number on his phone.
Excusing himself from the classroom, he answered the call and pressed the phone to his ear.
“Hongbin, is it?” A dark sinister voice cooed over the phone as the ‘s’ sound slurred slightly.
“Yes, may I ask who this is?” Hongbin questioned, shifting nervously on his feet.
“I don’t think I need an introduction, for you already know of me” He smiled on the other side of the line.
“Spur my memory then” Hongbin challenged, not liking where this call was heading.
“Let’s see” He hissed the ‘s’ almost to sound like a snake as it quickly hit Hongbin.
“What do you want, Mamba?” Hongbin hardened and focused on the call.
“Hrmmmm, I believe your boss already filled you in on that part, but since you don’t know the money amount I will tell you” Mamba smirked as he tapped his lips lightly, “Three hundred trillion dollars, small bills, black briefcase, I’ll give you an hour.”
“What if I don’t?” Hongbin probed curiously
“Then someone close to you will be the first citizen to try out my new venom mixture” Mamba chuckled as Hongbin could hear something faint through the call.
“One hour, starting now Hongbin.” Mamba started a stop watch, “See you in an hour”
With that Mamba hung up the call. Rushing back into the classroom, he quickly gathered his things then started running towards his car. Dialing his boss’ number, he explained the situation and what Mamba wanted in return.
“His offer isn’t going to stop him from doing this in the future” The boss said as Hongbin drove off of campus.
“Then what do you want me to do?“ Hongbin revved the engine while his fingers tightened around the wheel at the thought of loosing, what he assumed was, you.
“Come to HQ and we will see where he has you go to drop the money” The boss says as Hongbin heads over to HQ quickly.
Running into his boss’ office not long after, he stood in front of his desk before looking up and seeing the coordinates of a location up on the screen.
“This is where they are holding the citizen, he emailed us the location just a few seconds before you walked through those doors.” The boss explained. “We have the money but we are going to send you in empty handed.”
“Wha- Why?!” Hongbin fumed, clearly aggravated.
“I will have another agent with the money, but you need to go in and do some negotiation first” The boss told him sternly
“You know he is going to kill her if he doesn’t get the money” Hongbin posed clearly, pointing at the screen where your picture sat with a little blurb of your information.
“That is a risk we are going to have to take…” The boss sighed as Hongbin clenched his jaw tightly together and balled his fists tightly until his knuckles turned white.
“What do you want me to do?” Hongbin humbly requested
“Go get ready, you leave in five minutes, we will take care of the rest. But remember… we need to end him before he causes any more trouble” The boss finished as Hongbin ran out of the room.
Quickly changing into his fighting suit, the black scaled leather hugged his torso comfortably as he slipped his black boots on over his dark grey pants that was lined with zippers, holding several different weapons of choice. Once he was dressed for the mission, he carefully lifted up a necklace from under his collar and pressed the gold medallion to his lips, mumbling a quiet prayer, he tucked the necklace back under his clothes before heading off.
Within a half minutes Hongbin stood in front of the designated location and looked up at the large corporate building. His eyes raking floor after floor, the glass climbing up as high as the eye could see. Trotting around to the back, he opened up a back door and began to climb the floors until he saw a big 115 on the concrete wall. Opening another door, he walked into an eerily empty office. his eyes slowly scanned the area, seeing nothing but empty desks and cubicles around the perimeter of the large area.
Tuning to his high attuned senses, a slight noise popped in the distance, snapping his head towards the noise, he ducked right as a bullet ripped through the drywall behind him. Rolling off to a different location, the assassin in the shadows tried again, hitting the carpet then the wall again, shattering some glass, Hongbin moved towards the doorway as the assassin began to follow Hongbin, like a lion follows his prey.
Moving through the doors, Hongbin stayed up against the wall, trying to catch his breath as a single light in the middle of the room caught his attention that hung above a large desk in the middle of the room. Red numbers decreased as the large count down clock hung against the wall.
“Nice to have you join us” Mamba turned around slowly in the dark bay leather chair sitting behind the large maple desk.
A whimper came from your mouth as you sat under the ticking clock, Hongbin watched you out of the corner of his eye as Mamba smiled and moved his fingers over the silky finish on the desk.
“Did you bring my money?” He asked simply yet with force.
“We need to talk first” Hongbin started his negotiations
“What do we need to talk about? I already have the girl” He lifted a silver handgun from one of the drawer in the desk. Letting Hongbin look at the gun, he smiled seeing Hongbin’s eyes drop down then rise back to his.
“I can see this going down one of three ways” Mamba started as your eyes watched the handgun on his desk, “One: You give me the money, I set her free, we both are happy. Two: I kill her, you give me the money, I am happy. Three: I kill you and her, get my money, I am happy.” His fingers dragged across the barrel of the gun glancing at you with a sly smile curling his lips.
“There is no way you are going to turn out on top” Hongbin reassured
“Ah is that so?” Mamba stood up and slipped the gun into his hand. “Is that why they sent the Dark Phantom for me?”
“D-Dark Phantom?” You thought to yourself as all you say in front of you was Hongbin, your
classmate, your friend.
“Partially” Hongbin answered, keeping both eyes on Mamba as he made his way over to you.
“Well, I want to introduce you to someone, someone I think you may already know.” He smiled and stood next to you, lifting the twisted cloth from your mouth, he threw the soaked cloth in your lap before his fingers tangled in your hair and pulled your head up, yelping a little at the immediate pain, you closed your eyes and tightened your body around the chair you were tied to.
“If you are going to shoot her, you are more than welcome to” Hongbin told him, trying to show him no fear.
“Oh Hongbin, you have a lot to learn” He chuckled throwing your head forward. “This is no ordinary gun, it is the latest invention of mine. It combines the five most deadly venom’s in the world and combines it into a shot, killing a person slowly within an hour if I give them the full dose.” He smiled looking at his gun, “The best place to shoot it is in her stomach, then her chest then her brain.”
“What are you going to do with the money?” Hongbin questioned as Mamba pulled your head upwards while he knelt down beside you and lifted the gun and pointed it towards you.
“It’s none of your concern” He smiled, pressing the gun into your stomach as your breathing started to increase while you tried to catch Hongbin’s eyes wanting to plea to him, plea for help to get you out of this but you knew you needed to be patient. Hongbin ran his tongue over his lips as he wanted to turn the tables a little, forgetting his training and following his heart.
“Would you do this if she was your daughter?” Hongbin questioned seriously.
“She isn’t my daughter” Mamba pressed the gun into your stomach more, tightening his fingers around the handle of the gun.
“What if she was, would you be able to do this to her? What if this was your girlfriend, you loved her with your whole heart and now you have to pull the trigger because you choose money over her, you choose money over the one thing that makes you happy, makes you whole” Hongbin posed expertly.
“Don’t push it” Mamba growled, his finger tightening around the trigger
“You would choose money over the ones you love? You would choose pain over love, sorrow and sadness over happiness and laughter?” Hongbin stood his ground as you watched him, starting to see what he was getting to.
“I warned you, I am going to shoot her” Mamba growled as you took in a breath and held it, waiting for a moment or two.
“You aren’t going to shoot her, you need your money, you want your money than anything else.
You aren’t going to stop until you get it, your blood money” Hongbin growled towards the end as Mamba quickly turned the gun and pointed it to Hongbin and shot. Dropping and rolling, Hongbin quickly took shelter behind the desk as the assassin came through the door.
Slipping some tools out from his pockets, he nailed the assassin within a few tries and had Mamba pinned up against the wall with the assassin’s gun to his head.
“There is only one way I see you getting out of this one” Hongbin says honestly, “Turn yourself in, then serve the rest of your life in prison”
“So be it” Mamba smiled as he quickly pulled the trigger into Hongbin’s side, the blow forcing Hongbin to loosen his grip on Mamba. Pulling the trigger quickly, a smile curled on Mamba’s face before a blank, pale expression soon took over his face.
Stepping backwards, Hongbin pushed his hand into his side and pulled it away to see blood seeping out from under the leather. Mamba’s body fell limp to the ground before Hongbin checked his pulse and stepped over Mamba’s body and knelt down in front of you.
“______” He called gently, his hand resting on your leg as your eyes were tightly clenched closed and your body curled up as tightly as it could against the chair. Untying your hands and your ankles, your eyes slowly opened to see Hongbin kneeling down before you.
“How about we get you out of here” A sweet smile curling on his lips as he stood up and pressed his hand to his side, wincing a little as you stood up and limped a little beside him, his arm wrapped around you and yours around him trying to keep both of you upright.
Heading over to the door, he stopped just in time to have a bullet pass him through the wooden door as the lock blew off.
“Do you trust me?” Hongbin questioned as his eyes bore into yours.
“I trust you” You nodded as his hand slid into yours. Seconds after, the door caved in as another assassin stood right behind you.
Hongbin pulled you along and ran towards the window, “Jump!” He called as you did as you were told. His arms wrapped around you as he pulled up his gun and shot the assassin before barreling through the glass window.
The two of you were now in a free fall from the 115th floor. Holding onto Hongbin tightly, his wings opened and caught the two of you, bringing you back up into the air. After a few moments and the danger slowly fading from behind you, you opened your eyes to see Hongbin holding you close to him as he flew above the buildings.
Landing on one of the roof tops, he eased you to the ground as his wings folded to his sides.
“Are you hurt anywhere?” He questioned, his eyes scanning over you as he saw a few superficial things but nothing too out of the ordinary.
“I think I will be okay” You told him, “What about you?” Your eyes moving to the profusely bleeding wound.
“I’ll live” He gave you a weak smile before pressing his hand to his side. Starting up a homing beacon around his ankle, he sat down as you sat down next to him.
“We are going to wait for the chopper to pick us up” He told you, his breathing becoming a little labored.
“Hongbin?” You questioned, your arm wrapping around him to try and keep him steady
“Yeah…” He whispered, his head laying on your shoulder
“I didn’t know… you know… that you were a dark phantom” You told him
“I wanted to tell you… I really did…“ Hongbin lifted his head up and looked up into your eyes.
His eyes told all as you rubbed his arm gently and the slapping of the helicopter wings soon grew and picked the two of you up and headed back to base.
A week later, you came to visit him at HQ, he was being under close care due to the venom injection he had received. Knocking lightly on the door, you opened it slightly as you saw Hongbin lift his eyes from the book he was reading.
“Having fun?” You questioned, walking up beside his bed.
“I thought I never would ask to go back to school” He sighed as you sat on a chair next to his bed.
“I brought you your homework and the class notes” You told him with a smile, setting your notebook next to him.
“Thank you” He sweetly answered, a smile curling larger on his lips.
“Get well” You stood up as his hand brushed against yours.
“Wait a moment, I have something for you” He told you, slowly turning around, you returned back to your seat as he pulled something out from behind the front cover of the book. Holding it out for you, he smiled as you carefully took it into your hands.
A beautiful drawing covered the front of the card as your name was written through a heart on the front, then opening up the note, more drawings of your adventures and class together filled the paper as did the words:
You are worth more than money to me
Lifting your eyes up, you saw his blushing cheeks. “I couldn’t tell you my secret, about being a dark phantom, for several reasons. One being work, another being security and another of being scared of you rejecting me for who I really am.”
“I would never reject you for who you are, all I could hope for is you being yourself around me” You told him, resting your hand on his arm lovingly.
“W-Would you care to go over the notes in person?” He asks gently wanting to spend more time with you.
“Of course, just don’t think I am going to give you the answers to the homework” You lovingly teased before started to talk him through the lectures and the problems on the homework.