Promises in Purple
It was hate at first sight for Cho Jung-kook and Seong Tae-hyung, and since then, their relationship has been nothing but acrimonious—and they’re both fine with that; as far as they’re concerned, there is no love between them. When they find out a shocking secret about their dads, however, their entire world shifts in an uncertain direction. Because despite being mortal rivals, they do have one common denominator: they love their dads dearly and would do anything to ensure their happiness.
[ Mature ] [ Trigger Warning ] [ ]
Dark & Disturbing Themes • Blood & Violence • Internalised Homophobia • ual Assault
- Fandom(s): Squid Game; BTS
- Story Number: 124
- Pairing(s): (somewhat platonic) Kim Tae-hyung (as Seong Tae-hyung) x Jeon Jung-kook (as Cho Jung-kook) [TaeKook][VJK]; Cho Sang-woo x Seong Gi-hun (Sang-woo x Gi-hun) [SanGi]
- Secondary Pairing(s): (very subtle) Kim Seok-jin x Park Ji-min [JinMin]; (maybe not so subtle) Min Yoon-gi x Jung Ho-seok [Sope]
- Chapters: 1/?
- Status: Ongoing
- Additional Warnings: Boy Love (); K-Idol RPF; Ideologically Sensitive; Self-Indulgent Headcanons; Profanity; Code Switching; Present Tense; Self-Destructive Behaviour; Trauma; Masochistic & Suicidal Tendencies; Debt Slavery; ual Harassment; Misogyny
- Tags: Romance; Alternative Universe; Crossover (of sorts); Angst; Drama; Humour(?); Hurt & Comfort(?); Family Issues; Overprotectiveness; Single Dads & Only Sons; Whump!Gi-hun; Whump!Tae-hyung; Whump!Sang-woo
- Start & Completion: 2022/06/05–?
They approach each other in the hallway, their plastered and bandaged injuries bared for everyone to see. The students around them freeze, clearly afraid that another violent confrontation is about to ensue.
‘We need to talk,’ Tae-hyung says.
‘Yes. We should,’ Jung-kook says back.
‘I’ll send you the meeting spot as soon as the last period is over.’
Naturally, everyone around them is weirded out by this relatively “civil” exchange. All week, simply putting the two boys in the same space has infallibly resulted in both verbal and physical hostility. They held their breaths and stood stockstill even long after the two aforementioned enemies simply walked away to their respective classes without incident. It was too early to celebrate. They were going to meet up somewhere after class, alone. Disaster could have simply been put on hold.
[17:45 Message from Seong Tae-hyung: Corner fire escape in the west wing gym.]
The older boy is already there as Jung-kook quietly slips inside the soundproof, narrow enclosure. Some moments of awkward, somewhat begrudging, silent staring elapses before Jung-kook breaks the spell:
‘You go first. I don’t know if we have the same bone to pick.’
Tae-hyung shifts his weight uneasily. There were a hundred things all raring to be said accumulating at the very tip of his tongue for the past days up until right before this moment. But now that he is being given the chance to air it all out, he realises that he is so overwhelmed by it all that he doesn't have a clue how to go about it or where to even begin. All he knows is he wants his dad to be happy; of course, he can't lead with that—no. That would sound childish and embarrassing. What is he going to say? How—will he even say it?
Hey, sooo… My dad and your dad. Yeeaaah, I could really use your help with—
He is too prideful to stoop that low. On a panicked whim, he decides to open the conversation with something that instantly gives him leverage instead:
‘You said you hate my father, yet it was so obvious from how you were staring at him! You’ve got the hots for my dad!’
Tae-hyung makes sure to be very melodramatic about this accusation, with a condemning finger poking and wagging directly in the space between Jung-kook’s eyes to aid in his attempt at misdirection – all for the sake of distracting him—but most importantly, himself, from the matter at hand.
He knows it is stupid and will only delay the inevitable. But he needs a little more time, and a lot more leeway. He isn't quite ready to “spill his beans”, so to speak. Heck, maybe he isn’t ready to open this can of worms just yet—maybe even never in this lifetime (or the nexts).
Therefore, he is immensely relieved that his dongsaeng is all too willingly derailed by this line of fire.
‘What?!’ The younger boy’s cheeks flush instantly as he rapidly blinks away his cross-eyed incredulity to supplant it with indignance. ‘Your dad is a sissy like you! Why would I—’
His tirade is cut off by fingers and yanking hard on his collar.
‘Call my appa a sissy again, and I’ll make sure you never get to say anything else ever again.’
‘Is… Is this what you wanted to talk about??’ Jung-kook grunts, not flinching when his companion’s face gets right up in his personal space, not trying to break free from the drastically tightening grip either. ‘Your dad is a model, for ’s sake. What’re you gonna do? Punch everyone who looks at his billboards or jerks off to his magazine spreads?’
Tae-hyung is definitely distracted now—perhaps a little too zealously—as he growls, ‘You ing bastard…!’
‘Those’re facts, you moron! What the are you so worked up about? Get mad at your own dad!’
‘It’s not that I’m mad about! Don’t insult him!!’ Tae-hyung snarls, undoubtedly livid, but his flashing eyes begin to glisten with moisture.
Junk-kook sighs, the sight making all tension and resistance from his body dissipate all of a sudden. ‘I’m sorry, okay?’ he blurts out, so resignedly, that it catches Tae-hyung off-guard.
The younger boy didn’t mean to relinquish the argument so anticlimactically, not without a fight at least—definitely a break in character for him… But having the older boy’s face so close, with his oddly soothing voice resounding in his ears and his every breath fanning his lips… It is making him feel funny.
Jung-kook tries to maintain eye contact, but he is suddenly finding it very hard to… In a way, Tae-hyung really looks like his dad… He would know; he spends endless hours staring at the man’s face on his computer screen and in his magazine collection... (on his phone right before he falls asleep...) He even dyed his hair red once, because there was a time when the popular model sported red hair, and it was enough to shock his conservative dad into speechlessness for several days. (He isn’t the kind of father to mouth off any issues he has with his son; in fact, he is very lenient with Jung-kook—too lenient, in his opinion. He wishes his dad would nag him more, if at all.)(He made it a point to dye his hair red on occassion after that, if only to attempt to ellicit a more pronounced reaction trom his dad, so far, to no avail.)
The shock from his genuine apology surprisingly diffuses Tae-hyung’s anger almost instantly. He pushes off Jung-kook in a huff. ‘What did you wanna say anyway? Just say it so we can be over with this.’
Jung-kook nonchalantly flattens the creases on his shirt. ‘You haven’t told me your beef yet.’
The older boy says nothing to that.
‘It can’t be about me crushing on your dad.’
Tae-hyung gasps, falling back a step and looking so over-the-top scandalised that he instantly brings to mind those exaggerrated Japanese cartoons Jung-kook used to watch as a kid. ‘S-so, it’s true!! Y-you do have the hots for my dad!’
Jung-kook feels his cheeks burn and he knows it’s pointless to deny it now. He already slipped up. He doesn’t know why he feels so flustered all of a sudden, but it’s really cramping his style. He averts his face, mumbling under his breath, ‘Yeah… Me and maybe a million other people, most of them likely prepubescent girls and boys who—’
Tae-hyung promptly brings up a threatening finger to his face. ‘Don’t you ing dare say it, Cho Jung-kook!’
The younger boy snorts. ‘You do know that me not saying it doesn’t make it not true, right?’
‘I don’t care!’ Tae-hyung snaps. ‘I don’t wanna hear it from you!!!’ Suddenly, his face crumples into a grimace. ‘Oh my god, just knowing that you’re probably staring at posters of my dad and doing whatever sick hanky-panky your kind gets up to—oh, god. It makes me want to puke!’
Your kind?? What’s that even supposed to mean??
Jung-kook scoffs. ‘Relax, sissy face. I just want to be a model like him, alright? It’s not… whatever it is you’re thinking…’ Sure, he has a little—teensy—crush on the man, because he is hot (even more so now that he is in his forties). But of course, he doesn’t need to be that honest about such a thing to the man’s son! He decides to drive the point home some more: ‘I’m not one of those who wanks off to—’
‘ARRRHHHH!!! YOU SAID IT!!! I’LL KILL YOU!!!’
Jung-kook catches Tae-hyung’s wrists when he dives in for his lapels again, brushing his hands aside. ‘Stop whining, will you? You started this topic! Can we just… Tsk. Just say whatever it is you need to say. Spit it out already so we can get this over with.’
Tae-hyung is still panting subtly, but he does back off, looking apprehensive all of a sudden. ‘You can go first.’
Jung-kook narrows his eyes at him. ‘Just say it.’
‘I said you can go first!’
‘How about we say it, at the same time?’
‘Better yet, you know what? I don’t wanna say it; let’s just Ka-Talk it to each other at the same time.’
Jung-kook his head sideways, starting to get an inkling. ‘Are you… having the same problem I’m having?’
Tae-hyung rolls his eyes before squeezing them shut. ‘Jesus. I hope not. That would make everything even weirder.’
‘What’s so weird about it?? Is there anything wrong with it??’ Jung-kook challenges.
‘No! It’s weird because it had to be something to do with you and your weird dad.’
‘What’s so weird about my dad?? He’s like, the most normal dad in the world on this side of Korea. He’s not the one with flaming red hair and posing for—’
‘SAYS THE ONE WHO DYED HIS HAIR ING FLAMING RED!!!’
Oh. In all honesty, Junk-kook had forgotten he did that recently. ‘Okay, fine. Let’s type up the message and read it at the same time.’ He pulls out his phone, and his companion follows suit. They both stand in tense silence for some minutes, fingers punching in their keypads.
‘Jesus, this is hard,’ Tae-hyung mutters after some seconds.
‘I’m done,’ Jung-kook declares in a bored tone. ‘Let me know if you’re ready.’
‘Okay, don’t rush me!’
Tae-hyung is so thoroughly absorbed trying to finish typing, hands slightly shaking as he grasps his device with both hands unnecessarily hard, that for the very first time, Jung-kook gets a chance to stare at the boy up close without him noticing... He doesn’t think he has ever seen nor envisaged that a guy like Seong Tae-hyung who always exudes a “cool”, “happy-go-lucky”, and even somewhat “bad boy” image could look this vulnerable and scared. This whole thing is really bothering him. Is it the same problem he has? If so, then he doesn’t see any problem with it. He has made up his mind a long time ago: he is willing to sacrifice anything to see his perpetually stressed-out dad smile for real, even once – something he hasn’t witnessed for as long as he could remember. Even though he and his dad didn’t get along at first, especially when he was still young and their family was still in ruins from his parents’ not-so-amicable divorce… But their relationship has gone a long way since, and now that he was a young adult, he understands better… The reality and the truth behind the enigma that is his father.
Jung-kook is jolted out of memory lane by Tae-hyung’s frustrated scream.
‘I can’t do this! This is crazy! I can’t believe I’m doing this… Maybe we should just forget this and go back to—’
The way Jung-kook had said that gets Tae-hyung’s undivided attention.
‘We can’t.’ Jung-kook looks into his eyes, for the first time ever, in all seriousness, with no trace of animosity or mockery. ‘This is important to me; I want my dad to be happy…’
And just like that, it’s back. The unbridled fear in Tae-hyung’s eyes.
‘So if there’s a chance, even a slim one, that I can do that for him, I’ll take it. Please… Hyeong. I need your help. I’m asking you this… I’m willing to do anything.’
Tae-hyung is breathing so heavily all of a sudden that it sounds more like dry-heaving. He has the unmistakable expression of someone on the verge of tears—and Jung-kook is sure it’s not because he called him “hyeong” for the first time.
‘You and your dad are really close, right?’
Tae-hyung remains mute, save for his wheezing breaths.
‘I envy you. I don’t get to see my dad often; I mean, I do. But he’s always working and when he gets home from work, he’s too tired to even see me—heck, sometimes he even looks too tired to exist.’ He points to the older boy’s pocket. ‘The picture of you and your dad in your wallet.’
Tae-hyung’s hands fly up over said pocket protectively, his face crumpling into a childlike frown. ‘Y-you can’t have it!’
‘I wasn’t gonna ask for it, .’ Jung-kook sighs, shoulders drooping. ‘I-I mean, “hyeong”. I was just gonna say that I’m really jealous of it. It made me realise that me and my dad don’t even have pictures together, not since I was a little kid, and we weren’t even smiling and happy in it—nothing like that photo of you and your dad at all. Because... we rarely get to spend time together without him looking like he isn’t dying of exhaustion. He puts up a very good front, and most people can’t see it because of that... but I can. I can see it in his eyes. They used to be full of life, just like your dad’s. But it isn’t like that anymore—it hasn’t been in a long time. I hate it, I wish things were different. I feel helpless. But I just try my best to smile for the both of us, because I know he’s doing his best.’
Tae-hyung’s lips are trembling ever so slightly now, and the tears are starting to win over. Jung-kook doesn’t realise that he’s the same, but he doesn’t care. He needs to win over his hyeong’s trust, and if that means he has to prostrate himself by showing his weakness in front of his most-hated rival, he will.
‘My dad isn’t perfect. But he does everything to make me happy. He’s fading away, working himself to the bone to make me happy. I owe him this.’ His voice drops to an almost inaudible whisper, and that’s when he feels a warm trail of wetness cascade down his cheek, ‘He believes he doesn’t deserve to be happy anymore... because of me. Because I exist and it’s my happiness that he should be prioritising now… as a father. But how can I be happy when he isn’t? I love my dad so much… I know he deserves to be happy too.’
Tae-hyung’s shoulders are shaking hard now. He hastily wipes any evidence of tears on his face before he says in a wobbly, tiny voice, one so full of uncertainty and trepidation, ‘What… What are you saying…’
‘That’s all I ask.’
‘Please ask your dad to date my dad, just once.’ Jung-kook clasps his palms together in front of him.
‘M-my dad isn’t gay!’ Tae-hyung splutters, his cheeks colouring deeply.
Jung-kook only hangs his head, smirking to himself and digesting those words for some moments without comment, before he finally speaks up:
‘Are you sure?’
So a couple of months back, I became a sort of casual ARMY (thanks to an amazing SanGi fan edit using “Fake Love”); and while I don't consider myself a hardcore fan just yet (I have purchased a lot of their songs and like them a lot)! I also find every single one of the BTS members impossible not to love! (And coming from someone who has never been interested in K-pop idols before despite being frequently exposed to it, that’s saying a lot.)
You could say that this is the product of an experiment. I don't really hard ship any of them, but I do find certain BTS ships really cute, and VJK is one of those. So this is my attempt at writing them, but it turns out that I can’t really write a solo BTS fic for now, I’m still too in love with SanGi to leave them out of anything I write so… This ended up being a sort of a crossover with Squid Game.
What to expect & what not to:
- While I used the bulletproof boys for this and called it a crossover, I wrote this not thinking of them as their celebrity selves (I wouldn't say I used them like face-claim characters because I still did my very best to stay loyal to their actual personalities – with some deliberate modifications to match the universe), so I would say this is more of like a different-dimension them – if they were born as characters in an alternative universe of Squid Game. Now, as mentioned, I am no BTS expert; therefore, constructive criticism about my characterisation of them is always welcome, however, do keep in mind that some tweaks to their personalities are intentional.
- If you’re in this for BTS, while I did go with Jung-kook’s and Tae-hyung's POV, and Gi-hun and Sang-woo do take a backseat for the most part of this, the romance is still heavily centred on the SanGi relationship more than the BTS ships.
- I originally wrote this to test if I could write romantic VJK, but I don't think I succeeded. So, fair warning to any TaeKookers looking to read this: even if I tagged this VJK, while they do interact a lot and get most of the screen time– romance-wise, don’t expect much (I tried! I honestly did, but they would not go beyond this despite how much I wanted to see it myself, merp).
- Also, I follow the traditional Japanese-style coding rule, so you can be assured that in all my fanwork, whoever’s name comes first in the ship name tag is the seme/top/giver. Meaning: Tae-hyung is the top here. (I don't buy into the stereotype that the more stoic one is always automatically the dominant.) Though, ultimately, who tops and who bottoms is quite irrelevant in this story since that code denotes their positions in (i.e. who gives and who receives), and I’m laying it out now:
- There won’t be any between Tae-hyung and Jung-kook here. (There will be between Sang-woo and Gi-hun, whether it is explicit or implicit, I’ve not decided yet.)
- Lastly, I thought long and hard about whose son is whose, and at first, I debated if Jung-kook would make a better match as Gi-hunie's son, but then I stumbled upon this squishy cute bare-faced domestic-y picture one day as I was pondering that, and wow. It was like the heaven-sent answer to my dilemma! I do think personality-wise, they match better, and Jung-kook being such a perfectionist definitely “takes after” Sang-woo (among so many other things they share with their “dads” that I will be showcasing in this story). ✌🏼✨
(Guhhhhh. They make such a cute father & son.)(Yes, this is the picture I have in mind that Jung-kook refers to in this preview.)
Squid Game and its characters, etc. belong to their respective owners. I own nothing except this derivative fanwork which I do not profit from.
While characters in this story are directly inspired by the members of BTS, this story and the characters herein are purely fictional and do not in any way represent the real people they are based off of.
The story cover is my edit. Please don't grab, use, repost etc.
Much obliged to P-씨 for helping with the Korean I use in my SanGi stories (terms, culture, etc)!
- All SanGi (Cho Sang-woo x Seong Gi-hun)
- All 2p!SanGi (Park Hae-soo x Lee Jung-jae)
- All Fan Art (SanGi & 2p!SanGi)