Word Count: ~800
Genre: Friendship/OTP feels
Summary: In her eyes he had been human, someone worth saving, and in the end, Kwon Joo had indeed saved him.
Author's Note: Yelp, this series and this OTP is like everything to me. I don't mind there was no romance between them because their BrOTP is the perfect groundwork for a future OTP. Hence, fanfiction here I come.
Jin Hyuk watches Kwon Joo getting up from the ledge of the roof where she'd been sitting since the other officers had come up to take Mo Tae Gu away. She looks tired and vulnerable in this moment but he knows all too well how strong and determined she can be when push comes to shove. Stubborn as hell, that's what she is.
Not once had she given up, not on the case, no matter how many threats were made against her, but what's more important, she hadn't given up on him. For three years, the others had simply observed from the sidelines his slow descent into madness until he'd been more dead than alive, until he hadn't cared about anything anymore except for Dong Woo.
But Kwon Joo had been different. When she had entered his life, she had been like a force of nature. She had pushed and pushed and pushed until his only choice had been to react. Like the crazy dog he had been, he had raged and ranted in retaliation but she had persisted and had dragged him back to life. And whenever it had seemed he would slip back into that dark place, she had been there and called him back, had told him he wasn't like those he hunted, wasn't scum, wasn't a monster. In her eyes he had been human, someone worth saving, and in the end, Kwon Joo had indeed saved him.
The knowledge leaves a tight feeling in his chest, wedged in the spaces between his ribs, and Jin Hyuk curls one hand to a fist at his side as he steps rather abruptly into her path, startling her.
“Kang Kwon Joo,” he addresses her, his voice low, quiet, and he can tell from the way she slightly tilts her head that she's confused, trying to place the tone in his voice because it's one he hasn't used with her before.
He stares at her for a second, searching for the right words but in the end he settles just for two because with Kwon Joo it's not what he's saying that's carrying the message but how he says it and so he wraps the emotions he wants to express so desperately into those two words. “Thank you.”
She blinks at him, completely thrown, but he doesn't elaborate, just waits, knowing she will figure it out, like she always does, and then finally, he sees realization dawning in her eyes and her smile this time is anything but sad. It's the first time Jin Hyuk sees her smile like that, it's small but it's genuine and real, transforming her entirely, and some distant part of him thinks he would really like to see her like that more often.
And then it her who renders him speechless by taking a step back and bowing to him. “Thank you as well, Detective Moo,” she says, meeting his eyes as she straightens up again. “If you hadn't believed me and put your trust in me, I don't think I would have been able to go on.”
He knows she doesn't mean to hurt him, but her words, full of honesty and gratitude, still leave their mark and he glances away from her, feeling embarrassed because they remind him of the harsh words he had thrown at her in the beginning, how mean he had been to her, the insults and disrespect, and he clears his throat, still not looking at her, before saying, “I'm sorry.” And before she can ask what he means, he clarifies, “For the way I treated you when we first met.”
For a few heartbeats there's nothing but the sound of the wind blowing across the roof and Jin Hyuk fights the urge to steal a look at Kwon Joo but before he can give in, he hears her move and then feels her hand on his arm, gently pulling him back to look at her. There's so much compassion and understanding in her expression that they are almost his undoing.
“You don't have to apologize,” she says. Her grip tightens on his arm before sliding away as she takes a step closer, and suddenly he's more conscious of the warmth of her body in the chilly air. “I understand.” It's not just simple lip service, not from Kwon Joo, she really does understand, and something in his chest slowly begins to ease.
Jin Hyuk takes a deep breath and gives her a crooked little smile before turning to look out across the roof tops. He senses more than sees Kwon Joo joining him, like she's done so many times in the last few days, her presence comforting and reassuring at his side, and together they watch the world go on in companionable silence until Chief Jang calls them down.