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    Han Seo sat in his desk, staring out into the field below as the sun hit his face.  The school bell would ring soon, his teacher had already left.  He laid his head on his arm and smiled.  A loud bang rang through the room, jolting him from his peace.  He turned quickly to the door.  A student stood in the door panting and sweating.

     "Hey!  Loser!  Your brother is about to kill Kim Dae Won."  Han Seo didn't wait for him to finish anything else he was out of his seat and sprinting down the hall.  He knew where his brother would be, they had locked the roof after two had jumped.  The field off to the side where a pond was.  The teachers rarely patrolled it, and since a kid had drowned in it last year it was off limits to students.  He skidded to a stop on the loose gravel almost falling over.  His brother was straddling another boy, pummeling him in the face and chest repetitively.  Blood splattering Han Seok.  

      "Han Seok!"  Han Seo shouted.  His brother kept going.  "Han Seok hyung!"  He tried again, he could see the teachers coming down the stairs.  He had less than five minutes to get his brother.  "Hyungnim!"  He shouted the fist froze mid air.  His brother stood slowly and turned around.  His eyes were dark and the blood splattered on his face made Han Seo step back.  The blood was on his uniform, and hands.  Han Seok wiped his mouth smearing it across his face.  He seemed primal.

    The glare Han Seok sent him made him take another step back.

    "Don't ever say my name.  Got it."  He slapped Han Seo across the face.  Han Seo kept his head down, but he could feel the warm blood smearing his own face.  He felt sick.  He held the slapped cheek in his hand and looked away.  "You take the fall got it?"  Han Seok gestured towards the bloodied student.  He leaned down trying to look into his brother's face.  He was smiling now, Han Seo tilted his head up slightly.

   "Of course, hyungnim."  He moved quickly to the boy, wincing when he got close enough to see the damage.  He settled over him as gently as he could.  His brother's scream ripped through the otherwise peaceful area.  

   "Han Seo! Stop!"  He said it with a smile an nonchalance attitude.  He was wiping his hands on his school uniform and yawning.  The teachers arrived after finding the key to the lock on the useless gate.  He smiled when they approached and pointed towards Han Seo.  Two male teachers grabbed Han Seo by the collar of his shirt and roughly dragged him away, his brother following quietly behind them.  

    Han Seo sat heavily in the chair outside of the principal's office.  He knew they would ignore the blood on his brother, they always did.  It was the fifth time this year already.  The kid Dae Won, was a welfare kid so it would be scraped under the rug just like the past, even those that jumped from the building.  Nobody cared because they were welfare, just like Han Seo had been before he was forced to move in with his father.  He twitched at the memory, 'it was six years ago', he growled at himself, 'let it go'.  His father walked in and he stood quickly, keeping his head down.  He glanced through his hair to see his stepmother glare at him with disgust.  The door was slammed shut and the three sat in there talking as if he couldn't hear the degrading things they said about him and his mother.

     "A welfare whore, no good, evil."  The muffled voice of his stepmother could be heard when she got shrill.  His father's voice boomed loudly.

     "I'll deal with him when I get him home, pay the welfare trash's family off.  I'll deposit the money into your funds."  Han Seo flinched, he had been 'welfare trash'.  The door was opened, his father grabbed his forearm and they left the building.  His father not saying a word to him put him on edge.  His brother was already sitting in the family car, eating gummy bears and playing on a hand held gaming device when they slid in.  His stepmother turned to face her son.

      "You did a good thing Han Seok-ah, but next time get the teachers, that rabid animal might bite you."  She turned a sour look at him and turned her nose up as she faced forward.  Han Seok giggled.

       "Ye, mother will do."  He smirked at Han Seo, wiggling his eyebrows at him.  Han Seo looked away, focusing on his hands, he started to pick at them.  The car ride was silent until they neared their home, all you could hear was the sound of his brother chewing his gummy bears obnoxiously, he could feel his brother staring at him and it made him sweat.  His father's voice broke the silence as they pulled in.

   "A let down."  Han Seok finished his last gummy bear with a pop of his finger.

    He was beat with the cane until his father had tired, he walked slowly back to his room.  He wouldn't be getting dinner that night.  He laid stiffly on his stomach on the bed and cried.  Fifteen year old's were not supposed to cry.  His door was opened and Han Seok waltzed in humming.  He peered at his brother with a smile and looked him over, raising his shirt slightly causing irritation on Han Seo's back.  He winced trying to move away.  His shirt was released soon.

     "Cane?"  He giggled.  "Old man, old fashioned."  He hopped on the bed beside Han Seo and stared.  "Are you crying?"  The eyes were mocking him.  He turned away from him, he didn't particularly care for his older half brother and wondered when he could return to his mother and away from this crazy family.  Yes, she was an alcoholic and violent but at least she would disappear for a few days giving him peace.  It scared him when he was little but now he could take care of himself.  

      "Hey! Hey!"  His brother's English rattled his brain.  "Don't turn away when your hyungnim is talking to you."  Han Seok raised his hand sharply and slammed it on Han Seo's back, causing him to scream out.  His brother laughed.  "He must have hit you good."

 

Chapter Text

  It wasn't a full month before it happened again.  The same kid came in with that smile on his face.  Han Seo listened to the same story, Han Seok was beating some kid up again.  Han Seo sighed but put his head back down.  If Han Seok wanted to beat somebody up, he wasn't going to get involved.  He felt bad for the kid getting beat up, but he wasn't going to take the fall again.  He couldn't do it.  His dad wouldn't keep going easy on him if he kept messing up.  

  "Loser!"  He came closer.  "Did you hear me?"

  "Yeah."  Han Seo sighed again.  His eyes fluttered shut as the warmth of the sun hit his face.  It was the most peace he got in his life, he didn't want to have to give it up.  The kid took off running, and the warmth put Han Seo to sleep.  It was the most peaceful sleep he had gotten in a long time.

  People were screaming, it's what jolted him awake.  The door was slung open and he stood quickly, he went pale with fear when he saw his brother standing in the door way.  He was gripping the uniform jacket of a student who was bleeding profusely from the head.  Han Seo stood with his mouth open, and his eyes wide.  "Hyungnim?"  His brother laughed but he could tell it wasn't one that was happy.  

   "You disappoint me little brother."  He dragged the squirming boy with him and threw him down at Han Seo's feet.  Han Seo stood frozen, shaking on the spot.  The teacher burst into the room soon after.  Clearly, it startled her to see the mess on the floor, and the stand off between the two still standing.

   "What is going on here?"  She demanded, Han Seo didn't know her, she's new.  She doesn't understand, or he would have already been dragged out.  The boy on the ground groaned and it kicked her into moving quickly towards him.  Han Seo looked at her but he could feel his brother's glare still on him.  "Somebody, help me get him to the nurse."  Two more teachers rushed to help the boy on the ground.  She stood, glaring at them.  "Jang Han Seok! Jang Han Seo!  With me now!"  Han Seok smirked at him, with that dead look in his eyes, Han Seo blinked but followed the teacher quickly out the door.  They were at the teachers office too soon, Han Seo hadn't even calmed down when she rounded on them.  "I can't believe what I just saw."  The disbelief evident on her face.  Han Seok smiled at her.

    "You must be new." Han Seok was smirking at her, his eyes sliding to look at Han Seo.  Han Seo looked away quickly.  The teacher looked uncomfortable with the sudden attention on her.  She pushed her shoulder's back and straightened.  

    "I am, and I thought this school was better than bullying."  She jumped when Han Seok moved closer to the desk that was separating them.  Han Seo wanted to warn her that it wouldn't protect her.  She sensed something herself because she had taken a step back away from him.  

    "Teacher, I'm not sure why I'm here.  I didn't do anything."  Han Seo felt his mouth spew, he said it quietly but it sounded loud during the silence.  Two heads turned to him.  He could see the pure rage in his brother's eyes burning into him.  Han Seo quickly averted his eyes, the teacher stood looking confused.  Han Seok leaned onto the desk.

  "I'm not exactly sure how you knew our names but let me give you a warning." Han Seok smiled, gleefully.  "Keep my name out of your mouth if you ever want to work again."  She looked shocked, and uncomfortable.  Shocked that her authority didn't matter here.  Soon enough, the principal was running in.  A portly, and balding man that stood no taller than 5'2''.  He was panting and the shock over Han Seok being in the teacher's room had him rounding on the young teacher.  

  "Why is Han Seok in here?"  It was a demand and Han Seo could see the wheels turning in her head.  She would give in just like the rest he thought bitterly, though he couldn't hold it against her, it was her livelihood.  Han Seok had leaned back a playful smirk on his lips.  

  "I think she should apologize, don't you principal Kim?"  He looked at her with such malice, Han Seo felt he would have killed her.  

  "Apologize this instant!"  She looked at the principal and then to them.  Han Seo looked away already aware that it was game over for him.  Han Seok was trying to get the blood off his hands roughly, disgusted with it staining his clothes.  Han Seo stood with his head down.  She thought he looked lonely and sad, but knew she would abandon him.  She had to pay off her debt.

   She apologized so well, that Han Seok had told the principal to go easy on her.  Han Seo wouldn't look up.  

 

 

 

Chapter Text

"Kick him out this minute!" Han Seok's mother screamed. Han Seo stood in the middle of the room, the family around him. His hands clasped tightly in front of him, he was biting his lip nervously. "Filthy, nasty little beast!" She continued, her voice rising to a shrill. Han Seok had his gummy bears enjoying the show. A smile playing on his lips. He never let his eyes leave Han Seo. Mocking him. Han Seo kept glancing through his hair, trying to see if anything would be thrown at him, or if any of them moved. "A whore's disgusting embarrassment, tell me why we have to deal with it?" She was at least directing this to her husband. Han Seo had wanted to shout at her, that his mother wasn't a whore, that his father was a rapist. Yes, he knew his mother wasn't the best, she wasn't even nice but at least she would get drunk and disappear for a few days. When he was little it scared him, but he was grown now and would take that over living here any day of the week.
He kept his mouth shut. His father grumbled.
"From now on, Han Seok will be punishing you. It's his reputation your destroying." Han Seo's head shot up looking at his father. Did he care so little for him that he would sign his own son's death certificate. He wanted to shout at the man, you know what he does to me. He kept quiet. Han Seok had threw the gummy bears down and had leaned forward, a bright smile on his face. It scared Han Seo. His father continued, "he's your hyungnim, you obey him! Whatever he tells you to do, do it. Understood?" The man was standing up with a groan.
"Yes, father." He couldn't bring himself to look at any of them.
"So I get to punish him for today. Right, father?" Han Seok asked, his feet bouncing excitedly.
"Of course, get out of my sight the both of you." His father stormed off to his office, his step-mother with one more look of disgust stormed off. He wouldn't look at Han Seok, but he could feel his eyes on him.
"Han Seo-ah!" He sung in a high pitch voice. He closed his eyes as he felt his brother get near. "Han Seo-ah!" He was punched in the gut and Han Seo doubled over gasping for air. His hair was pulled until he kneeled. The fear was starting to settle in his body. "You little piece of shit. Don't you ever disregard me." The first punch made him sputter blood. The beating was long, and soon he was knocked out.
His father nor step-mother made any comment about his face, it was swollen and a triad of different colors. He looked hideous, he couldn't bring the spoon of soup up to his lip because it was busted so he sat still and picked at his fingers. Han Seok was smiling at him from across the table, every time their eyes met Han Seo quickly averted his.
"Builds character." His father was saying, but Han Seo had already zoned them out. "Promise me." He looked up. Their father was pointing at both of them. "Even when you're older, you at least eat some meals together." Han Seo wanted to laugh, he had no plans of staying near his psycho brother. His brother was smiling with teeth, that was never good.
"Of course, father, I have to take care of my little brother after all. Even if he does get in to too much trouble."
"Lack of brains, if you ask me." His step-mother sneered. She reached over and pinched him hard on the arm. Han Seo yelped, trying to get away from her.
"Mother." Han Seok spoke. "Father said I was to punish him." Han Seo wanted to laugh. He'd take his step-mother over Han Seok any day. The worst she had done was poison him. He never took anything edible from her again. "Plus, he can't help being stupid. He's the son of a whore." Han Seo knew he was trying to get a rise out of him, he kept quiet. Picking at his pants leg aggressively. "I'm sure he knows his status well enough." He sat an endured it, he was counting down the days until he could really escape, find his mother and demand to know why, why she ever thought it was a good idea to leave him with these psychopaths?

Chapter Text

They burned down the warehouse. Someone had burned down the warehouse, and Han Seok knew. Han Seo fell harshly to the dirt when the explosion rocked him forward. The tires crunching on the ground had him looking up, terrified. He was here. His brother, no the real owner of Babel was here. He stood as quick as he could, fear causing him to spill word vomit out of his mouth.

"Shut it." Was all he got in return and he knew he was in trouble. His brother's eyes reflecting the flames of the building as another explosion went off. He glanced at his brother, tears building in his eyes. "Come to my house. We need to discuss how to handle this best." He was getting in his car without another word. Han Seo knew his input wouldn't be needed, he was just going to listen to the directions he was supposed to take. He hoped there wouldn't be a beating. He looked at the warehouse one more time, hoping there was no one inside. Wishing he had the guts to go throw himself into the burning flames. He was too scared. He arrived not to long after his brother, walking up to the house he wondered if Han Seok had calmed any, but with the extent of damage not only to the warehouse, losing all their pharmaceuticals, but the monetary damage Babel would face. Han Seo wasn't an idiot he knew his brother would blame him, if not for all of the loss, most of it. He walked in, his brother had already discarded his suit jacket and was taking a drink of water when his eyes landed on Han Seo. He smirked.

"Han Seo-ah, be a good boy and stand right there and hold my water." He set the water heavily into his hands. The smell of smoke on both of them, but Han Seo it would remain. The heavy but gentle hand rested on his face, Han Seo blinked holding his breath. "You disappoint me, you know that though, don't you?" With that his brother walked up the stairs, and the shower was soon turned on. Han Seo released the breath he had been holding. It gave him some time to think up an apology, but nothing he came up with would suffice his brother's mood. He had disappointed Han Seok, he should be punished, but he wished his brother would hear him out just once. His mind wandered to the thread sticking out on his own suit jacket, he started to pick at it. He startled when the water shut off and his brother could be heard rummaging in his closet. Han Seo wasn't prepared to see his brother half undressed still. The towel slung casually on his shoulder as he snatched the water from Han Seo. Han Seo's word vomit soon appeared, replacing the focus of his attention back on trying to appease his brother.

"Hey!Hey!"  His brother's English shot at him.  Han Seo didn't really understand English but he knew the key words, and 'hey' meant he had gone to far.  He wanted to prove himself, so he begged his brother for another chance, to let him bring whoever had done it to him.  "You?  Do you even have the brain to know where to start?"  His brother laughed.

"Hyungnim.  I know I can do it."  He shouted.  The slight change in his brother's eyes told him that Han Seok was done playing, that the rage he had been holding in was about to come out.  Han Seo put his head down after his brother moved closer to him.

"Don't shout at me, little brother."  The towel was slung around the back of Han Seo's neck.  "Han Seo-ah."  Before Han Seo could say anything his brother crossed the towel around his throat and squeezed.  Han Seo felt all the air leave his lungs and the fear of dying crashed on him.  His brother spun them until they were falling, Han Seok crashing into Han Seo on the chair.  The grip tightening, he weighed on Han Seo crushing his throat.  His brother saying something about him being a puppet.  Han Seo knew not to bring his hands up but he couldn't help grabbing for the towel.  His brother tsked him.  "It's your fault.  I own you, and Babel, don't forget that.  Got it?"  He squeezed so tight Han Seo felt the pressure behind his eyes.  When black dots started to appear in his vision and his hands started to slacken, Han Seok released him.  Gasping Han Seo tried to breathe, his brother finally stood, and watched as the younger man tried to get his senses back.  Han Seo fell to his knees, tears slipping down his cheeks as he pulled the towel away from his neck.  He stood on shaky legs trying to see if his brother was done, or if he was just beginning.  "Call a board meeting, say it was electrical.  Tell Wusang what I told you to tell them."  Han Seo finally looked at his brother, daring to meet his eyes.  Han Seok was taking another drink of water before pinning his gaze on Han Seo, smiling when the younger man looked away quickly.  "Little brother, you can go home now."  Han Seo stumbled but stood back up.  

  "Thank you hyungnim." He bowed low, stumbling again and barely regaining his balance.  He had gotten off easily, it was the only thought going through his head as he made his way to his car.  Han Seok hadn't even hit him, just choked him.  He glanced at the ugly red line marking his neck, slightly bruising.  The towel had burned him, but at least he was alive.  He smiled at himself, and patted himself on the head.  "You did good Han Seo, you survived."  He laughed a little as the tears started to fall.

Chapter Text

  He was in trouble, the cold sweat beading down his spine told him that.  He couldn't take his eyes off his brother, who was sitting on the sofa in front of him.  The one he had almost died in, he thought bitterly.  The urge to touch his neck, he pinched his leg instead.  He wasn't sure why he was here.  Han Seok had called him and told him to be here so he was.  

 

 He wished his brother would say something.  Wished he'd stop staring at him like that.  Han Seo played back every incident in the day trying to see if he had made a mistake, but he couldn't think of one.  Sometimes his brother would do this just so that he would make a mistake while he was standing in front of him.  

 

"Did everything go well with Wusang?"  Han Seok finally asked, as if Han Seo hadn't been standing there for over an hour.

"Ye, hyungnim."  Han Seo replied, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

"Is that so?"  Han Seok leaned back and let his eyes trail up his brother.

"Ye."  Han Seo said flinching slightly at the look.  

"Well, then why is that Lawyer Han being such a jerk to me?  I mean, if the chairman is the one who decided then shouldn't I be treated better?"  It was a trick question, Han Seo knew that.  He had only told lawyer Han to promote Jun Woo, nothing else.  

"I told him exactly what you told me to hyungnim."  Han Seo said glancing up, Han Seok had a smile on his face.  That was never good.

"So, your saying it's my fault?"  Han Seok asked with a bit of a pout.

"No!"  Han Seo shouted.  His brother's eyes went wide.  Han Seo flinched and wet his lips.  "Sorry hyungnim."

"Did you just yell at me again?"  He paused a one side of his mouth lifted in a half snarl.

"I didn't mean to.  It sort of jumped out."  He bowed.  "I'm sorry hyungnim."

"Whatever."   Han Seok smirked.  "Dongsaeng?  Do you want to play foosball?"  Han Seo took a deep breath, he really wasn't in trouble then.

"Ye, hyungnim."  He moved back as his brother jumped up and walked towards the glass foosball table.  He followed, to afraid not to.  

The night past quickly, and to his surprise all they did was play a few games, and drink as Han Seok watched television.  Han Seo found himself smiling at his brother, his heart swelling with happiness.  It had been so long since he felt at ease with Han Seok, always scared he was going to do something wrong.  Now, he just enjoyed the brief moment, and watched his brother.  The older man was laid out, his feet on the coffee table in front of them, his hand lightly curled around a glass beer bottle, his eyes glued to the tv.  Han Seo knew his brother looked innocent, his hair down and in comfortable sweats, he just wished he always acted like this.  He loved his brother, from the bottom of his heart he did but sometimes the fear crushed anything he felt in him for his brotehr.  

Past:  "He has anger issues you just have to learn to deal with them."  Han Seo's therapist said.  Looking over the young boy with a cast on his arm.  "If you knew it would upset him why would you do it?"

          "He called my mom a whore."  The therapist only looked at him.

          "Isn't she?"  The truth burned in his mind.  The therapist leaned close to him.  "Han Seo-ssi, if you want to stay safe and alive, you better do what your brother tells you."

 

  "What are you staring at?"  Han Seok's voice cutting through his thought.  He looked up.

  "Just day dreaming."  He chuckled lightly.  A hand shot out and Han Seo flinched, but it gently landed in his hair.  Han Seok petted down the back of his head.

  "You can spend the night if you want to? It's getting late, I'm going to bed."  Han Seok stood and with one more gentle pet he walked towards his room.  Han Seo bid him a goodnight and headed for the door.  Sitting in his car he wondered why his brother just couldn't act like that more than the anger he let spew out.  This, days like this was why he found himself continuously following his brother, that feeling of love for his brother.  He smiled the whole way home, and slept easy that night.  A peaceful sleep he hadn't had in months.

 

Chapter Text

Han Seo looked over the paperwork his eyes becoming tired.  A yawn escaping his mouth.  He wasn’t at work, but it seemed that the work was never ending.  Han Seok was on the other end going over paperwork himself.  Something about elks, a case he had been given, one that he wasn’t particularly fond of. 

“Go shower.”  Han Seok said out of the blue, causing Han Seo to jump.  The past few days his brother had been oddly kind, he enjoyed it, relished in it, but he never knew when he would do something to make his brother upset again. 

“Ah, ye hyungnim.”  Han Seo said setting the paperwork to the side and standing.  Han Seok stood looking him over. 

“I don’t like you calling me hyungnim when it’s just us.  You used to call me hyung.  So just call me hyung.  Okay?”  Han Seok’s pout had Han Seo letting a small smile spread on his face. 

“Ye, hyung.”  He would be lying if he didn’t admit that he loved his brother when he treated him like this, the caring and protective older brother.  The casual way of speaking to one another.  It reminded him of when his brother had left for America, and when his mother had died.  Han Seok had been a completely different person to him for over two years.  It had shocked him.

PAST:

  He had been told to meet his brother at the airport, the dread settled heavily in his stomach as he waited.  Han Seo pushed his glasses up.  He was just eighteen, his brother had just left to go back to America three days prior.  So, he was shocked when Han Seok said he would fly back.

It worried him.  It was so out of character from the man that used to beat and torture him that his mind was spinning.  The tall man was waving at him with a gentle smile on his face, it almost looked sad. 

“Dongsaeng.”  Before Han Seo could respond his brother pulled him close.  For the first time in their time knowing each other his brother was hugging him.  The warmth, at first fear had taken over Han Seo and he had tried to get away, but the arms just tightened around him.  “It’s okay.”  The heavy hand of his brother was now petting the back of his head.  It was gentle and soothing.  Nobody touched Han Seo like that, he had never experienced it, so unnatural but calming that he gave up.  He pressed his face into his brother’s chest and cried for the mother that had never really cared for him.  She wasn’t the best, but she was all he had truly had. 

It felt good to be held and petted.  The embrace was over too soon, Han Seok pushing him back gently to look at him.  “Are you okay?”  Han Seo looked at the stranger before him.  Eyes that sparkled gently, the corners of his mouth down in a slight frown.  He briefly wondered if his brother had been abducted by aliens, and that this was an imposter who had watched too many family movies to learn how to act. 

“I’m fine.”  He glanced up; Han Seok was staring at him, but the gentleness hadn’t left his eyes.  Maybe it was his father that made Han Seok act that way, the man was just as harsh, maybe not as violent, but with words he could be just as harsh.  “Thank you, hyungnim.”  His brother pulled him in again.

“You can just call me ‘hyung’” He laughed before pulling away.  They walked out his brother’s heavy arm slung casually around his shoulder; Han Seo felt the smile on his face after a long time.  Now that he thought about it, when Han Seok had been home earlier, he hadn’t hit him once, hadn’t even cursed at him.  Though Han Seo had spent the majority of his time trying to avoid the man, he cursed himself for not seeing the effort his brother was putting into becoming calmer, kinder, and less violent. x

The funeral was small, it was just Han Seo standing there awkwardly as no one came.  He sat staring at the picture of his mother, wondering why she lived her life like that.  Han Seok, he had thought would have come, but his father had taken him in his office and by the time Han Seo was to be at the funeral they still hadn’t come out, so he went alone.  He couldn’t blame his brother; their father had refused to even pay for the funeral. 

He sat staring at nothing when a noise caused him to startle.  His brother came in, a suit on and red eyes.  He gripped Han Seo’s shoulder gently before bowing for the deceased.  Han Seo, for the first time felt his heart expand for his brother.  He had changed.  Han Seo stood with his hands folded in front of him, the tears that had refused to fall all day finally came, he didn’t know why he couldn’t cry unless Han Seok was there, he was just so thankful that he didn’t have to see her off alone.  They sat side by side, Han Seok holding Han Seo’s hand, running small circles with his thumb. 

“Are you okay?”  Han Seok asked.  Han Seo looked at him and nodded.

“I didn’t even get to say goodbye.”  Han Seo looked down.  In truth he hadn’t seen his mom in so long that the guilt was starting to tear him down.

Hey.”  Han Seok’s English jarred Han Seo, but he looked up into the eyes of his brother, red rimmed from crying himself.  “You’re sending her off properly, that’s all the goodbye she needs, okay?”  He paused pulling the other man close and holding him in a half embrace.  “She wouldn’t want you to be sad.  Okay?”  Han Seo felt his arms wrap around Han Seok and he let go of the tears and stress and cried, getting snot and tears all over his brother’s suit.  He was gripped tighter, comfortingly and Han Seo for the first time in a long time fell asleep without worry.

“Seo Min Hui-ssi, I hope you burn in hell for what you did to my mom.”  Han Seok smiled.  “Just watch how I destroy your son.”

Han Seok had paid for the funeral.  Han Seo was hugged and held, and they even talked about his mom.  Han Seo had never felt so free and happy in his entire life.  Han Seok took him to play hockey, and eat, they played foosball, and watched tv.  It didn’t erase the past, but Han Seo had forgiven his brother in his heart.  He had changed and everybody deserved a second chance.  He realized about two weeks in that he needed his brother, no, he wanted his brother around.  Glad that his brother had two more weeks to hang out but sad that he would be leaving so soon.  He had never thought he would be sad at the possibility of his brother leaving. 

He saw him off at the airport.  A tight hug, his brother gave him a gentle kiss on the forehead before petting his hair.  “You take care of yourself okay?”  Han Seok was saying.  Han Seo nodded eagerly; he would do anything the man asked him to do. 

“Bye hyung.”  He said as the man disappeared through the gate.

  Two years, the gentle touches and love continued for two years until Han Seok’s old self reappeared.  He had killed their father.  While eating those disgusting gummy bears.  Han Seo had felt the now unfamiliar fear grip him.   The tapping on the wall startled him as he looked into the eyes of the monster in his childhood, not the gentle and loving brother he had come to love so deeply.  His eyes wide behind the glasses.

“Come in, he’s gone.”  He said it so nonchalantly, that Han Seo felt his heart rate increase from fear.  The beeping of the machine drummed in his head as he stood staring down at his father.  Han Seok was staring at him he could feel it. 

“Hyung.”  Han Seo started but when he looked at those eyes he stopped.  Too afraid to continue.  Han Seok looked him up and down. 

“Let’s build a new company dongsaeng.”  Han Seok said wrapping an arm around his shoulders.  Except the heaviness of his arm was far from comforting and loving, it felt like the lid to his coffin was closing and he was still alive in it.

Chapter Text

The shower was nice and hot, it eased his muscles to relax and it felt good to wipe away the day.  He let his hair stay down and put on sweatshirt and sweatpants.  He walked back to where his brother was on the couch, he was turning a page over when Han Seo got the nerve to ask.

            “Do you want to shower, I still have some of your clothes here, you can change.”  Han Seo was nervous, his brother could always fall on one side of the fence or the other.  Those dark eyes were looking at him, contemplating. 

            “Yeah, I’ll got take one.  Finish looking at the document on the side and sign the papers I filled out on the left there.”  He patted Han Seo on the shoulder as he passed.  He collapsed on the chair and sighed.  He touched the place his brother had and looked down.  His brother was the only one to touch him, he wasn’t to let anyone else.  Which was fine because he didn’t particularly like people touching him to begin with.  He sighed, no, this wasn’t the time.  He started doing the paperwork again and rubbed his tired eyes after going through several pages.  Taking his contacts out would be the best option, then he could focus. 

            He got up and stretched feeling the tense muscles as he walked to his bedroom to get his glasses.  His brother was coming out of the bathroom toweling his wet hair off.  He had a flashback of the towel wrapping around his throat and he looked away.  Not quickly enough.  He felt two arms wrap around him from the back.  His brother’s chest warm against his back.  He rested his head on Han Seo’s shoulder and smiled. 

            “Did you get all that paperwork done already?”  Han Seok asked.  Han Seo felt a lump in his throat.

            “No, I was just getting my glasses, my eyes are hurting.”  Han Seo held them up as proof that he wasn’t lying.  Han Seok turned him around and stared at him.

            “Your eyes hurt?”  Han Seo looked at him.  Nodding.  “Why didn’t you tell me sooner.  Have you been to the eye doctor recently?” 

            “Hyung, it’s just because I’ve had my contacts in all day.”  Han Seo smiled softly.  Han Seok nodded.

            “That could be the case.”  He pated him on the cheek gently and walked into the living room.  Han Seok flopped on the couch like a small child and laid down, his arm crossing over his eyes.  His brother’s hair was fluffy he thought idly, the sweats he was wearing made him look younger, freer.  “Dongsaeng, come on we have work to do.”  Han Seo scurried out of the room, glasses firmly on his face.

            “I told you to write it like this not that.”  Han Seok said, frustration dotting his voice.  Han Seo looked down, ashamed.  “It’s the third time.”  He was given a disapproving look.

            “Sorry, hyung.  I’m too stupid to remember it.”  Han Seo quickly tried to revise the speech.  His mind had been wandering off during the night.  He could feel the tension building.  “Hyung, what if we called it a night, I could probably do better if we slept.  You can spend the night here.”  He felt his throat close up on the thought, but knew it was something he had to ask, or he wouldn’t be getting any sleep that night.  Han Seok set his gummy bear down and looked at him.

            “You want hyung to spend the night?”  Han Seok looked him up and down.  A grin blossoming onto his face. 

            “Uh, ye, it’s too late to go out.”  Han Seo shivered.

            “Okay.”  Han Seok closed the file he had been flipping through and stood.  “Let’s go to bed then, I’m tired.”  He held out his hand, and Han Seo took it.  He was pulled up quiet easily.  Han Seok jumped happily on the bed and laid on his back.  Han Seo removed the cover of one side and slid in laying on his side away from Han Seok.  He stared out of the giant glass window.  Movement and an arm wrapped around his waist.  He looked behind him.  His brother had his head propped up with one hand smiling at him.  “Dongsaeng, you better not mess this up, okay?”  He brought his hand to Han Seo’s face and let it rest there.  “I’ve been trying to be patient, but you know better than anyone that I have a short temper.”  He leaned forward and kissed Han Seo on the forehead.  “Goodnight.”  With that he flipped over and tucked himself into the bed, leaving Han Seo trying to hold back tears.

            This whole time Han Seok had been letting his rage simmer.  If he messed up, he’d be dead.

Chapter Text

He was nervous, licking his dry lips for the tenth time.  Eyes staring at him from every direction, he hated the spotlight.  Hated talking in front of people.  The one thing he truly hated about being the fake chairman, besides the beatings he received for failing.  He got through it with some difficulty but not much.  He could see the intern Jang Jun Woo watching him intently.  The pretty woman beside him, Hong Cha Young.  He rushed off the stage as soon as he could.  She worked at her father’s law firm now he noted.  The man had been killed, he shivered at the thought.

            Walking down the steps he was stopped by Cha Young, an outstretched hand shoved near him.  He stopped and took it cautiously.

            “Hope we have a fair trial.”  She smirked at him, a glare in her eyes. 

            “Of course.  If you’ll excuse me.”  He took his hand back and walked quickly to the car that was waiting for him.  He looked around for the expensive looking consigliere.  The man was part of the mafia, what tricks he was planning had Han Seo on edge.  Not as much as the smirk his brother wore.  They drove off quickly.

            He sat in his office staring at the paperwork but not really understanding it. 

            “So, they blew up the warehouse, with these four people’s help.”  Han Seo asked the informant standing in his office.  “How bad were the stocks?”

            “Severe.”  The informant said, looking down.  Han Seo slammed the paper stack on the desk.

            “Are you serious?  Severe?”  He shouted.  The man jumped back.  Han Seo swiped his face angrily.  He shouted out of his own fear not with rage. 

            “I’m sorry chairman.”  The man said bowing and keeping his head down.  A beep from Han Seo’s phone made him look.

            ‘Hockey rink tonight 10pm.’

            Han Seo couldn’t swallow the lump in his throat.  “It’s fine, you can go.”  He waved him away and slumped in the chair when the door shut.  That rage his brother was letting simmer was boiling over.  He put his head in his hands and sighed.  Tapping his phone, he sent a reply.

            ‘Of course, hyungnim.’  He threw it on the desk and turned to look at the big window before him.  He could already feel the hockey pucks slamming into his chest, the hockey stick beating him.  He shivered, there was no way out.

Chapter Text

             The puck slammed into his chest, Han Seo gasped trying not to fall, but too soon another hit him in the stomach.  A sharp pain erupted from his knee as it the puck smacked into it sending him to the cold ice below.  He had just gotten to his knees, pain throbbing unbearably as a puck smacked him in the side harshly.

            This position was dangerous, but he couldn’t get his bearings before the hockey stick started wailing on his back.  He fell forward, hitting his face on the ice and busting his lip.  He knew Han Seok wouldn’t quit, not until he felt better.  Han Seo wept openly on the ice as his brother’s assault continued, taking every hit as he had learned at a young age.  Han Seok stopped, his breath coming out in short pants.  Han Seo glanced up at the eyes of his brother, the air leaving his lips like steam, as he peered down at him.  He turned his gaze back to the ice. 

            “Get up.  Let’s go to my house.”  Han Seok skated away, leaving Han Seo on the ice.  He groaned from the explosion of pain, he forced himself up, only years on the ice kept him from falling over in his dress shoes.  He limped off, thankful his brother hadn’t hit him in the head with the stick, or a puck. 

            He sat not moving in his brother’s car, a driver would take his home, he noted as Han Seok handed him the keys.  He slid in with a smile.

            “Wow, you really messed up today.”  He smiled at Han Seo, but Han Seo could see the anger building itself back up. 

            “Sorry hyungnim.”  He said looking down at his hands. 

            “That’s your problem Han Seo, you’ll always just be ‘sorry’.  Cha Young seonbae she’s magnificent, isn’t she?”  Han Seok smiled.  Han Seo felt a prick of jealous hit him, the way Han Seok smiled so fondly over her, it hurt him.  He looked out the window.

            “Ye, hyungnim.”  He replied stiffly.  “She’s great at her job.”  He knew she was one of the reasons he was beaten tonight, but he couldn’t voice that to his brother.  Honestly, he wanted to tell her, that his brother wasn’t the naïve little intern that had everybody wrapped around his finger.  He was manic, and a psychopath.  He went from one mood to the next at neck breaking speed. 

            He kept quiet, pulling himself out of his own thoughts.  It was too dangerous to daydream with Han Seok around.  They pulled up too soon afterwards.

            “Shower, and change, you can spend the night.”  Han Seo trudged up the stairs, stopping as his brother opened the door.  “Han Seo.”  Their eyes met.  “You almost did a decent job today, but you really should work on your speeches.  Even with my help you make it sound.”  He paused seemingly trying to find the word.  “Pathetic.”  He patted Han Seo on the shoulder and went inside. 

            ‘Pathetic.’  Han Seo thought with almost a giggle.  Han Seo would be the first one to admit that he was pathetic at best, and useless at worst. 

            He showered, the bruises hurt, and already they were turning ugly colors.  He stifled the pain as best as he could, and slowly dressed, hoping that Han Seok would be done for the night, he walked into his brother’s room and looked around for Han Seok. 

            A slight conversation could be heard on the other side of the door.  Han Seo moved closer and listened. 

            “Jun Woo-ssi, make sure you give me all the information you can without Myung Hee finding out.  Okay?”  Cha Young was asking.  He sighed, not wanting to hear his brother be kind to anyone at the moment he went and laid on the bed, just to relax.  He passed out.

            When he woke up, he was laying on the bed still, and when he moved, he gasped as pain erupted, it hurt to breathe.  He could hear his brother in the shower humming.  Han Seo bit back the yelp as he sat up.  The shower turned off, the humming was getting louder, Han Seo watched as the door opened and his brother stepped out.  A towel hanging loosely around his hips, his curly hair damp.  Their eyes met briefly before Han Seo looked down. 

            “You’re awake!”  Han Seok yanked open a drawer and grabbed sweats.  “Are you upset?”  He put them on and moved in front of Han Seo, bending so that they were eye level.

            “No, hyungnim.  I didn’t do what I was supposed to do.”  Han Seo felt shame, Han Seok had taken the time to write the speech, and go over it with him, and yet he still failed to impress with it.  Han Seok patted hist cheek before pulling it.

            “That’s right.”  Han Seok’s voice was calm.  “But hyung went a little overboard.  Cha Young seonbaenim really makes my heart race.”  He giggled.

            “No, I’m at fault hyungnim.”  Han Seo glanced up to see if he was saying the right thing or if he was just annoying his brother.  His brother simply nodded before turning away from him. 

            “Ah, dongsaeng.”  Han Seok turned to him a smile playing on his lips.  “Shouldn’t you get dressed?”  Han Seo’s eyes widened.  Glancing at the clock, it was morning already.  He had slept through the night.

            Han Seo scrambled as fast as his body would let him.  Pain bursting through him as he moved.  His brother walked to the living room, allowing him to dress himself.  He made sure he wore a preapproved suit, a spare of his Han Seok always kept in his closet.  He stumbled out and glanced in the mirror taking a deep breath.  He walked into the living room.

            Han Seok was lounging contently on the sofa, a sweatshirt on his top half, smiling at the stupid drama on the tv.  Han Seo stared at his brother; he was handsome.  He loved his brother, loved him deeply, his only family in the entire world.  He’d take whatever Han Seok would give him as long as he never abandoned him.

            He feared Han Seok, but he also respected him, his brother was intelligent, an outstanding businessman (if not a little corrupt), a good lawyer, charismatic.  So much more than he every would be.  Han Seo smiled at him, if only Han Seok would be just a little kinder.  He’d love him infinitely more.

            Han Seok smiled at him when he noticed him.  It made Han Seo’s heart swell with hope.  It always did when he was nice, Han Seo couldn’t help it.  He thought maybe it was conditioning that had taught him to respond in such a manner, but he didn’t care, he didn’t know anything else but his brother.