Jungyoon heard beeping noises before she opened her eyes.
She doesn’t know how long she was out of commission for, but the first thing she noticed was the sterile white room and the smell of being in a hospital. The second thing she noticed was familiar group of people sprawled around the room – one sleeping on a couch, two sitting around a small dining table hunched over myriads of papers, three sitting in front a television with controllers in hands – she absentmindedly noted they were playing Mario Karts – and one sleeping by her bedside. The third thing she noted was the things attached to her person – an uncomfortable oxygen mask on her face, an IV drip hooked to her right arm, and her forefinger hooked to a heart monitor.
“You’re finally awake, Yuna. That’s good. How are you feeling?”
The quiet chatters immediately stilled upon hearing that remark, and everyone’s attention suddenly focused on her. Jungyoon slowly turned her head to the source of the voice, blinking a few times in bewilderment when she saw a young woman in ICJ uniform with a white lab coat. She inwardly groaned in discomfort upon realizing that it was indeed Aria, the head of Medical Division, standing before her.
She removed the uncomfortable oxygen mask, and choked out, “What was the damage, Aria?”
“Massive internal bleeding from being in direct proximity against a bomb, a couple of broken ribs, and some head trauma.” Aria responded in a blunt tone, and exhaled deeply with one hand massaging her temple. “You were lucky your blood type matched with your brother and his friends. Be sure to thank them for donating their blood; otherwise, you would’ve died. And what the hell were you thinking standing that close to a bomb? Do you have a death wish?”
Jungyoon rolled her eyes rebelliously at the lecture and silently grabbed a glass of water from her bedside. Every movement hurt like there was no tomorrow… Like, she was in a washing machine, and then wrung like a towel. She thanked her lucky stars to have enough sensibility to wear her coat. Otherwise… she doesn’t want to think what could happen.
She was lucky to survive.
“If I didn’t take the blow, no one would’ve survived.” She responded in a deadpan tone with a pointed look.
“This tops the most reckless thing you’ve ever done, Yuna. If you weren’t in the condition you’re in, I would’ve smacked you until you realized what you’ve done. I know our uniform have properties that protect us from certain impacts, but it doesn’t give you the right to use it against a bomb. Underneath all that, we are still human. You could’ve died. Just because you can heal much faster than others because of your ability doesn’t give you the right to be reckless.” Aria retaliated ruthlessly and huffed. “I know you don’t want to hear that, so I’m going to give you an update of what happened while you were out of commission.”
Jungyoon didn’t dare to look at her brother and his group members. She knew she worried them – mostly her brother – but she doesn’t know how to deal with that kind of situation. Instead, she focused her attention on what Aria had to say.
“Takuto and Senna’s predictions came true. Nikolai managed to extract information from our target about his underlings’ hideout, and Luka stormed that location and arrested everyone. Aside from that, Luka is having Nikolai as his second chair for the court date next week. It will be in The Hague instead, considering the UN members were furious when they found out there was a bounty on us. I know you need to be present at the proceeding, but you need some time to recover and not overexert yourself. And yes, you were out for two weeks.”
She remained silent as she tried to process the information. She knew that Aria didn’t go into details about many things – probably due to Jungkook and his group members’ presences – but it stunned her that she was unconscious for two whole weeks. So much had happened while she was unconscious.
“Ah… my visa expired then.” She blurted out in realization.
A sputter of incoherent words made her look to see that Jin facepalmed at her words, and he cried out, “That’s what you’re worried about?” in an indigent tone.
“I hope you understand that you can’t do any strenuous activities for a while.” Aria’s words shifted her attention once more. “Senna told me to tell you that she’ll send you a report of what transpired. I’m surprised that you managed to set cameras to record the whole incident. That recording would be an important evidence in court, but Luka also needs a written statement for formality’s sake.”
“I’ll have that ready before the court date then.” Jungyoon replied with a sigh, already dreading the paperwork she had to do.
“You knew, didn’t you?” She looked up at her teammate in confusion, not understanding the question until she heard the clarification. “You knew they had a bomb since you stepped into the field.”
She liked her lips nervously when she felt a penetrating stare from her brother. Wordlessly, she nodded to the question, and heaved a sigh as she explained, “Ever since our Information Division made this prediction, I had an inkling that this might happen. I heard the timer when they first entered the building and it became clear when I neared him. That’s why I tried to move him away from everyone.”
“I was wondering why you suddenly asked my division to be on standby. You were ready for worst-case scenario.” Aria commented in a hollow tone.
Jungyoon didn’t say anything in response, but she could tell that everyone knew her answer.
“In any case, your ability managed to heal most of your wounds, and your vitals are stable, so you can go home, if you’d like. As a kind reminder, I’ll personally hurl you back here by your ear if I hear you’re in the field before I give you a clearance. I have sedatives and I’m not afraid to use it on you.” Aria declared with a warning look.
“I know, I know…”
“If you’ll excuse me, I have two weeks’ worth of paperwork to finish, and a testimony to prepare for. But, you better call me if you noticed any changes in your condition! No ifs, or buts.”
Jungyoon gave a wry smile at her teammate’s remark, and called out, “Aria, thanks for everything,” before the other girl had a chance to exit the room.
All she heard in rebuttal was a, “If you’re grateful, you owe me a year’s worth of cream puffs. And don’t you dare go get them before you’re truly healed,” before the other girl left the room in a hurry.
Silence blanketed the room as Jungyoon bit the bottom of her lips while she braced herself for the oncoming lecture from her brother. She hesitantly looked over to Jungkook, and inwardly winced when she saw his stare and frown. She knew she worried him – that blast rendered her unconscious, after all; but she knew that she had to take that risk. She had to take a gamble with her skills and ability… They weren’t her – they didn’t have the training and necessary skills to survive such ordeal.
“I’m sorry for making you worried.” She decided to break the unsettling silence.
She froze when she heard Jungkook exhaled deeply, not knowing what to expect. He uttered a, “I’m just glad that you survived, Jungyoon,” instead of lecturing her for her action.
She looked at him in surprise, baffled that he didn’t lecture her or anything of that sort. She knew he had plenty of sleepless nights worrying about her conditions – despite the makeup he wore, she could see those dark circles and puffy eyes.
“You’re not going to say anything else?”
“What do you want me to say? Your friend already lectured you for being reckless, and I doubt you need to hear that from me when you know it yourself. Just don’t do something like this again.”
Jungyoon tentatively looked at his direction, and gave a nod of agreement when words escaped her. She doesn’t know if she could truly uphold that agreement when she was a part of Assault Division – recklessness seemed to be a thing in this division – but she knew she couldn’t voice it out loud. She doesn’t want to worry her brother any more than she already did.
“Thanks for the blood transfusion.”
“Don’t expect me to do it again.” Yoongi retorted in a blunt tone.
She blinked in confusion when Namjoon, Hoseok, Taehyung, and Jimin laughed in response. She doesn’t know why they found that remark funny until the latter decided to explain, “Yoongi-hyung didn’t like how the nurse kept prodding him with needles because she couldn’t find his vein.”
“Why don’t you go get changed so we can leave?” Jungkook suggested.
The awkward silence was killing her.
She doesn’t know what to say to alleviate the awkwardness, and it doesn’t help that she felt exhausted and nauseated. The fact that Aria gave her normal clothes to change into – ones not made with protective properties of ICJ uniforms – made her feel strange. The lull and bumpiness from car ride doesn’t ease the queasiness either – overall, she just wanted to sleep until she felt refreshed.
‘The future for the present.’ The words she mentioned previously reminded her.
“Your uniform must be truly exceptional if you could survive an explosion with it.” Hoseok decided to break the silence.
“It’s made from stronger materials than normal.” Jungyoon replied, not knowing how to explain the complex properties it contained. “But no matter how good it is, an armor is only as good as its user. It’s not invincible. You can still get hurt even though it contained properties to be bulletproof and slash-proof.”
“You managed to survive an explosion with it. I’d say that’s as invincible as it can get.” Namjoon pointed out with a brow raised.
She gave wry smile at the remark, and tried not to grimace when the vehicle went over to a speed bump. She subtly leaned against the back of her seat as she gave her response, “Even with all protective properties an ICJ uniform contained, no one would be able to survive a bomb.”
“Then how were you able to?” Taehyung questioned with furrowed brows.
“To put it simply, speed, reflex, intelligence, and Savant Syndrome. I wouldn’t suggest trying to replicate it.” She listed off, and inwardly huffed a sigh when she got confused expressions in response. “It was one of the predictions from our Information Division. I requested and installed some shields from our Logi Division ahead of time. That’s why you were unscathed, and I wasn’t any worse off than I was.”
Jungyoon drew one leg close to her and rested her head on her knee, trying to quell the nauseous feeling and not think about it. She doesn’t know if what she felt was due to medication Aria injected in her system or because of her over usage of Savant Syndrome. She had never used her ability to that extent that she felt lightheaded or wanted to vomit.
“You calculated it to that detail?”
She reopened her eyes when she heard Jimin’s astonished voice, and gave a tight smile with a nod at the inquiry. She turned away from his worried glance as she took a sharp intake before she explained.
“Our Information Division supplies us with possible scenarios our targets may take based on their background, personality, and behavior. My job as part of Assault Division is to decide what to do with that information – some scenarios may be farfetched and overly cautious, but one thing to remember is that, innocent lives are at stake. One miscalculation… one second of carelessness and laziness can cause a lifetime of regret.”
“So, that’s why the battle was on the far side of the arena.” Jin commented in realization.
Jungyoon hummed in agreement as she turned to look at her brother, who returned her gaze with worried glance and a frown. “I had shields installed around that area in case things like that happened. I just needed to make sure I wasn’t obvious about it, and that no one else was in the premise of the blast. I also called my teammates ahead of time to ensure that their teams will be on standby for the cleanup. That’s why I wasn’t in the audience during your rehearsal.”
“You had everything planned, didn’t you?” Jungkook asked in a low tone.
“Fifth law for ICJ’s Armed Detectives: Act swiftly and intelligently – first action is the essence of victory.” She replied in a quiet tone, resting her head on her knees once more. “I’m sorry to have worried you, oppa… and thank you.”
She heard a mixture of a hum and grunt, sounding like her twin accepted to her apology – although reluctantly, she believed – and heard him asked, “What’s going to happen now? From what your friend said, there’s going to be a court proceeding.”
“Where is this Hague, by the way?” Hoseok interjected.
“It’s in Netherlands. That’s where one of the headquarters is at.” Jungyoon answered the second question first since that was easier than what her brother asked. “I’m going to need to pay a fine for overstaying my visa, extend it for some days to fully recover, and then continue with what I’ve been doing.”
“So, we’re not going to see each other again? You’re not going to visit during holidays?” Jungkook shot one question after another with a displeased frown.
She winced at his words, fully aware that her neglected her family in favor of her work, and replied, “I’ll make sure to visit, Jungkook. It won’t be like last time. I promise.”