They stopped at the entrance to the hospital. Youngjae looked at the sign, holding his breath and walked in.
“Youngjae, why are we here?”
Himchan looked around. Youngjae went straight to the receptionist.
“Excuse me, is there anyone he-“
She cut him off, “Visiting hours are over, sir.”
Youngjae stepped back, “I know. I just wanted to know if-“
“Sir, unless you’re looking to admit someone, I suggest you leave,” she said without looking at him.
Youngjae opened his mouth in disbelief. Himchan realized why they were here. He advanced to the receptionist and slammed his palm onto the counter. She jumped back and looked up in shock.
“I know your job isn’t customer service, but respect would be appreciated,” he hissed. She was silent.
“Could you tell me if my friends are here?”
His face was unwelcoming. She quickly scooted her chair toward the computer and looked up at him.
Her fingers tapped the keys.
“I’m sorry, there’s no one here by that name.”
Himchan slouched a little in disappointment.
“What about Jung Daehyun?”
Once again her fingers tapped the keys.
“Oh, yes. There is a Jung Daehyun.”
Youngjae’s attention peaked.
“What’s the room number?” Himchan asked.
“Uh, room 10B. But sir, you don’t even know if this is your friend. Do you know his birth date or anything to confirm?”
Himchan started walking into the hallway toward the elevators.
The receptionist called after him, “Sir, you can’t go in there! Visiting hours are over!”
Youngjae bowed, “Please understand. We’ll be really fast! I'm really sorry!”
He ran in the same direction.
Himchan pushed the elevator button repeatedly and watched the floor numbers illuminate one at a time. The doors opened, they went in and pushed the button for the tenth floor.
They impatiently stared at the numbers changing. The doors opened again and they rushed out, speeding down the hall looking for room B. Eventually they found it. Himchan and Youngjae looked at each other. Youngjae twisted the doorknob.
“You!” a deep voice came from behind. They turned their heads to see two heavyset security guards coming toward them.
Youngjae pushed Himchan. They flew down the hall and turned the corner. The security scurried after them, rapidly losing their breath. The two disappeared into an elevator leaving the security in the dust, bending over clutching their chests.
Himchan pushed the button for the first level and leaned against the wall, panting.
Youngjae chuckled, “I guess that was a failed plan.”
Himchan grinned, “Worth a shot.”
The doors opened and Himchan popped his head out looking left and right, motioning for Youngjae to come out. They crept as discreetly as possible down the hall. Himchan jumped backwards, hiding behind the wall, when the receptionist moved her chair. He peered around the corner and grabbed Youngjae’s hand. They whizzed past her toward the door, almost crashing into it when the motion censor was too slow to open it.
When they got outside, they erupted in laughter. For a moment, they had forgotten why they came here.
Youngjae sighed, “Man, that was kind of fun actually.”
Himchan gave him a weird look and put a hand on his back, leading him home.
“At least we know that Daehyun is there. Well, a Daehyun is there. What if it’s not even-“
Himchan stopped talking when he saw Youngjae’s face drop.
“I mean I’m sure he’s safe, Jae,” Himchan smiled trying to keep Youngjae's spirits up. It wasn't working.
Youngjae dragged his feet, lost in his thoughts. [Are you okay, Dae? I’m so sorry. Is Yongguk hyung with you? What happened? Please come home.]
They reached the dorm and went inside. Youngjae snapped back to reality when the lights flicked on. [Whoa, we’re home.]
He and Himchan looked at the floor. They both thought the same thing. [Their shoes aren’t here.]
Himchan turned on the heater. Youngjae walked to his room and turned on the light, hoping that somehow Daehyun would appear on his bed, safe and sound. But of course, it was empty.
He stripped himself down and changed into clean warm clothes before going back into the living room. He sat on the couch. Himchan plopped himself next to him and draped a blanket over them both.
He glanced at Youngjae who looked distracted.
“Don’t worry so much,” Himchan grabbed his hand. Youngjae looked at him wearily. Himchan put his arm around Youngjae’s shoulder.
“Jae, everything will be okay,” he cooed.
Youngjae rested his head on his hyung's shoulder. Himchan gingerly stroked his dongsaeng's hair.
Yongguk sat in one of the chairs beside the hospital bed with his elbows on his knees, hands clasped together, resting his forehead on them.
The nurse came in and glanced at Yongguk.
“Where’s the blanket I gave you?”
He pointed at a sleeping Daehyun. She looked at the bed. He had placed the blanket over him and tucked it in neatly.
She grinned, “I’ll get you another one.”
She came back and handed him the blanket.
“Stay warm or you're gonna get sick too.”
Yongguk nodded appreciatively and wrapped the blanket around himself.
She smiled before leaving, “You’re a very good friend.”
Yongguk nibbled on the tips of his thumbs and thought about it. ['You’re a very good friend.' I wish I were more than that.]
He scooted the chair closer to the bed and leaned against it. He stared at Daehyun’s face. [He’s so peaceful when he sleeps. Almost angelic.] His lips curled up into a smile as his head leaned in closer.
He closed the proximity between them. His lips were inches away from Daehyun’s. His heart started beating like crazy. He could feel Daehyun’s breath on his cheek and closed his eyes.
Suddenly, the doorknob jiggled and Yongguk jerked his head away immediately, his cheeks flushing. He heard people yelling in the hall and the sound of footsteps scampering. He looked at the door in confusion. [What’s going on out there?]
He waited until it was quiet again and turned his attention back to Daehyun. He rested his cheek on the bed and studied his face carefully, memorizing every detail. He smiled and took Daehyun’s hand into his own and gently stroked the back of it with his thumb. [Sorry, Hyunnie. I should have came sooner.]
Daehyun opened his eyes and stretched. His left hand was occupied with something. He groggily lifted his neck and looked down, blinking a few times to clear his eyes.
Yongguk was in the chair asleep with his head on the bed and his hand grasping Daehyun’s. Daehyun softened.
He looked around the room. [I’m in the hospital? What happened?] All the memories of earlier came rushing back to him. He was searching for Youngjae for a while and ended up blacking out. Next thing he knew, he woke up here with Yongguk. [Did hyung save me?]
He tried to sit up, but fell back into the bed. His body was still weak. He glanced at Yongguk and grazed his cheek with his fingers. [Thank you.]
Yongguk felt something brush his cheek and his face twitched.
“Hyung,” Daehyun whispered.
Yongguk looked up, “Don’t talk. Just rest.”
Daehyun opened his mouth, but Yongguk put a finger to his lips. Daehyun relaxed into the pillow and gave Yongguk’s hand a squeeze. It was then that Yongguk remembered that he was holding Daehyun’s hand. He shifted a little, his ears turning red.
Daehyun didn’t seem to mind or think that it was a big deal. He pulled Yongguk’s hand on top of his stomach and gripped it with his other.
“Thank you, hyung,” Daehyun spoke softly.
Yongguk took his gaze off of their hands and looked at his dongsaeng’s face.
“I don’t know what happened. I just remembered being out there alone and then I blacked out. Thanks for saving me.”
Daehyun looked into Yongguk’s eyes with compassion. Yongguk’s heart leapt.
“You don’t have to thank me. I’ll do anything for you. I’m sorry I didn’t come sooner.”
Daehyun lifted himself off the bed. Yongguk tried to lay him back down, but Daehyun pushed his hand away.
He placed one hand on the back of Yongguk’s head and leaned down. Yongguk’s heart started beating faster. Daehyun pressed his lips against Yongguk’s forehead.
Yongguk was on cloud nine. His heart sang, feeling as if he were flying. The kiss only lasted a couple seconds, but to him, it was much longer.
Daehyun pulled back and smiled tenderly at Yongguk. Yongguk looked up at him with bright eyes and his gummy smile appeared, but he quickly turned his head to compose himself and glanced at him with a repressed smile.
Daehyun lay back down.
“Did Youngjae come home?”
Yongguk shook his head, “No.”
Daehyun’s face was blank. [Is he okay?]
He wanted to call them, but it was too late. They would wait until the morning. Yongguk felt his cheeks.
“Your fever is gone. That’s a relief.”
He fixed the blanket over Daehyun, “Get some rest.”
He sat back in the chair and squeezed his knees to his chest.
Daehyun chuckled, “That looks so uncomfortable. Come here.”
He patted the space on the bed next to him. Yongguk hesitated, “Huh?”
“Come, lie down,” Daehyun scooted to the side.
Yongguk didn’t move, he was apprehensive about the idea.
Daehyun reached over the bed and grabbed his arm, pulling him onto the bed. Yongguk sat awkwardly, keeping his gaze on the wall.
Daehyun teased, “Gukkie, I don’t bite.” Yongguk laughed nervously.
Daehyun lifted the blanket for his hyung to come underneath. Yongguk looked at it and slowly slid his legs under. He stayed as close to the edge of the bed as possible and lay on his side with his back to Daehyun. Daehyun smiled at his timidity.
Yongguk was frozen. He didn’t even want to breathe. Tick tock tick tock, he watched the hand on the clock rotate.
An hour later, he glanced behind him to find Daehyun asleep. He relaxed and sat up to go back on the chair.
A hand latched onto his arm and pulled him back down. He looked back.
“Just stay here,” Daehyun groaned and let his arm drop as he drifted back into unconsciousness. Yongguk sighed and lay back down.
"Maldo an dwae jeongmal wanbyeokhae Sumi gappa igeon banchigingeol," Yongguk sang softly to himself as he stared at the ceiling.
Daehyun tossed around a bit and ended up slapping Yongguk in the face. He shot him a shocked look, but Daehyun was still completely knocked out. He felt his cheek and chuckled. [Good thing we're not roommates.]
He started singing again, but stopped when he felt Daehyun press up against his side and stretch his arm across his stomach, nuzzling his face into his neck. He swallowed hard, remaining stiff as a board. [Eotteokhae?]
He pinched Daehyun's wrist between his thumb and index finger and lifted it off of his abdomen, placing it on his own side of the bed then shifted away from his body. He accidentally shifted too far and plummeted onto the floor with a loud thud.
"Aish," he growled and picked himself up. He sat in the chair and fiddled his fingers as he puffed his cheeks.
He looked at Daehyun who was still asleep. He was tapping the bed as if he were searching for something. Yongguk watched him in amusement. [What are you doing?]
"Hyung," the words escaped Daehyun's lips.
Yongguk lifted his brow. [Hyung? Who?]
He leaned forward in an attempt to extract the answer, "Yeah."
Daehyun pouted, "I'm hungry."
Yongguk planted his face into the sheets. [Babo.]