True to Eunhyuk’s prediction, the patient’s family is going to sue them. The first daughter is adamantly vocal about filing a lawsuit for surgical malpractice against the hospital; which making thing worst, she’s a journalist working for an exceedingly famous newspaper—although the whole ordeal isn’t to his surprise because he has seen this coming, thus he is calm when all the threats thrown on his face from the daughter.
However, the same couldn’t be said for the three interns beside him. All ashen and internally freaking out—well who wouldn’t be though?
“There is no need for lawsuit, Choi-shii.” Explained him assuredly, voice undisturbed yet assertive. “We will take responsibility by performing another surgery to repair the damaged nerve. Everything will be covered by the hospital’s fund.”
“How would I know you won’t ed it up like the last time then?” Angrily she said, eyes sharp glaring at the doctor. Her contoured nose twitching in annoyance with face tensing. Occasionally she would glare towards the interns, eyes watching their movements like a hawk preying on its meat. Apparently she’s looking for the student that caused all this mishap to her father, though Eunhyuk refuses to disclose the information no matter how much she insists.
“We have the best neurosurgeon in the country working in this hospital. The success rate is likely high. I give you my word Doctor Kwon will do her outmost best.” Said Eunhyuk, with the interns watching him in silence as per ordered by him not to speak a word to the raging daughter. But she wouldn’t accept his explanation, still refuses to give in. “Even if it’s a success, that won’t change the fact that my father won’t be able to live his life like before. You think I’m stupid?! I know what will happen when a person’s paralyzed from damaged nerves. His life won’t be the same anymore. He won’t be able to walk normally like before.”
Eunhyuk stays quiet for seconds, eyes firmly looking at her with tint of guilt that goes unnoticed by the rests. He speaks again truthfully, “I don’t refute that claim.”
Donghae and Kibum are visibly stilled whilst Sejeong is close to tears, chin trembling trying to hold the sobs from escaping. The daughter lets out a snigger, mocking Eunhyuk further. “I’ve thought so.”
The entire room belonged to Doctor Lee befalls in a complete tranquil, tension thick in the air. The dull sound of the AC working considered loud enough than each of the person’s breath inside the room. at this moment, it’s hard to convince the family after the accident in the OT caused by the healthcare provider itself, but it’s much crucial for them to insist her to agree on the second surgery—for her father, and the kids’ peace of mind as well.
Though of course Eunhyuk won’t voice out the latter loudly to the rest of the world.
He persuades her one more time, “I apologize for my mistake during the surgery. It’s unforgiveable and unprofessional that because of my lack of prominence, your father has to bear the consequences.” Eunhyuk looks straight into her brown orbs, the line of lids shaped into a cat-alike look due to the eyeliners. “But please, allow me to fix this by performing the surgery. We will take full responsibility for it.” He bows down, taking the interns by surprised before they do the same. “Please, consider on the surgery.”
“You two may leave first.” He points to Kibum and Sejeong—who’s now has her face smeared with tears after the patient’s daughter has left a minute ago. Judging by how bad she’s trembling at the moment, Eunhyuk doesn’t want to give his tired eyes a luxury to witness how ugly she’s going to bawl her eyes out in front of him. He can’t handle crying people—doesn’t know and hate to face it after all.
Only after the two have left did Donghae completely let his pretense off. The calm façade he tries so hard to put on finally crumbled into a deep frown. A knit of thin eyebrows meeting with transparent crease by the forehead, mouth alike a small pout and reddening face; he’s crying out the tears of frustration.
But Eunhyuk pays no attention to it—despite how painfully aware he’s of Donghae’s turmoil. He keeps on leafing through the documents by the desk about the patient they will be operated on the day after tomorrow. The daughter finally agrees although she places her conditions;—“Only if the surgery is a success, or else I will bury this hospital down from its glorious reputation.” Typical threat thrown when it comes to lawsuit but the next one kind of irritates him so much it boils his already thinning patience.
“—and the same goes to your good name, Doctor Lee Eunhyuk.”
He clicks his tongue in annoyance, finding her foul attitude galling whenever his mind comes to recall the early discussion. Who the hell does she think she is? Heechul is right when he told me how troublesome the daughter is. Damn cocky reporters and their dimwit brains.
“H—Hyukjae….” A call of that name and Eunhyuk’s heart pricked dully. But he keeps it cool, not wanting to show any emotions. Anything that might blow his cover up. He brings his eyes away from the papers to a tear-stricken Donghae who’s shedding tears unstoppably. Even with the younger looking so pathetic there standing with his shoulders slouching in utter defeat, Eunhyuk’s emotionless expression stays unwavering; a trick he’s mastered so well in all the years of his life.
But deep in his heart, he feels so bad. Like the cruelest man he’s not meant to be yet chosen to become. How ironic that he’s feeling this disparate when it comes to Lee Donghae—a stranger he’s never crossed his way before.
“Stop crying. It’s all over. The surgery will be done.” Nonchalantly the words come out from him, sighing even out of tiresome. “If I knew talking to her would be this annoying, I should’ve give this job to Heechul. Damn that old man, making me do the hard work.”
Donghae is still crying even with the certainty, making Eunhyuk sighs for the umpteenth time as he finds this whole thing irritably a waste of a time. But he got to say it, “Why are you defending Sejeong back there?”
The out of a sudden question couldn’t Donghae process it inside his head. While he wipes the tears with his sleeve—which Eunhyuk thoughts as quite disgusting, he asks. “W—What?”
“Back then with Heechul; why did you defend her?”
Astonishment is visible on Donghae’s face at such inquiry. Eyes blinking in perplexity letting the wet lashes feebly brushed over the skin under his lids. He looks almost like a child in his eyes. “Because she doesn’t mean for it to happen.”
“So you’re willing to be a scapegoat?” A raise of his eyebrow as he asks almost mockingly, “Admitting a mistake you’re not responsible of?”
Donghae seems upset with this, he doesn’t even hide the scowl painted on his face adding to the confusion that’s been there initially. “She’s my friend.” He states blatantly yet truthfully. But it only makes Eunhyuk scoffs harder, to which the younger has no idea why the former—his Hyukjae, acting like this.
“People will take advantage if you keep doing that. Before you know it, you’ll be bearing the consequences for things you’re not involved with in the first place.”
“Sejeong won’t do that—”
“How did you know she won’t?” Eunhyuk cuts him off rudely, not even paying heeds to the glare Donghae’s giving him. For his own stare is far equal deeper. “This world is full of selfish people. You need to keep that in your mind that we live with those bastards; they can be anyone. Even your own friends and family. So don’t be naïve and open your eyes.” He said, not breaking the ye-contact with Donghae’s quivering one. The latter is close to another waterworks again and somehow this time, it rubs on Eunhyuk’s bad side so much.
You’re so weak. Stop being weak. Weakness is unacceptable.
“H—Hyukjae, why are you talking like this?” Donghae quivers out.
“Because you’re acting like an idiot.” Eunhyuk stands up from the swivel chair and rounds the desk, he walks towards the door. Away from a flabbergasted Donghae. “I hate idiots.” The sound of a door opening and closing breaks the silence. He’s left the room in anger, leaving Donghae behind as well. The entire scenario is causing so many confusion for him, finding it completely unfair to be the one receiving the scolding.
Why Hyukjae? Why are you so angry?
When Ryeowook passes by the lobby, the mob of students by the corner waiting hall catch his attention. The closer he gets to it, he can hear a vivid sob from a girl with few hushes of people around muttering string of comforts. Thanks to his insoles, he doesn’t need to tiptoe around the tall kids for a view of Kim Sejeong crying in the arms of her friends by the bench.
“What is happening?” He asks, voice getting the attention of the interns and it’s Choi Siwon that first notices him. “Oh, Nurse Kim! Ah, it’s…..” He trails off, eyes glancing to the still crying Sejeong. Ryeowook somehow could guess it, “Is it about Choi-shii’s daughter?”
“Yeah. She threats Doctor Lee to ruin this hospital if the surgery turns up a mess.” Kibum who’s standing beside Siwon said.
“Well, that’s so like her.” He mutters along with nodding his head but Kibum and Siwon can hear him, confused hearing it. “What do you mean, hyung?”
Ryeowook only smiles to Kibum’s question. “Nothing. So, does that mean she agrees on the second surgery?” Kibum nods, making him sigh in relief. “That’s a good news. Don’t worry about it. Doctor Kwon is the best of the best here. It will turn out just well.” He assures Sejeong and the rest, convince of the neurosurgeon ability as well since Ryeowook has a fair share of experience witnessing her works for years now.
“Doctor Lee says the same things too. He has explained it to her but I don’t know if she believes him.” Kibum mentions again, remembering the sour look on Choi’s daughter earlier. Aside from the heated argument between them suddenly a thought comes to his mind, “Ryeowook hyung, Doctor Lee refuses to reveal the truth about the accident during the surgery to her. He’s took all the blame.”
“He did?” Ryeowook replies, though he doesn’t look surprised.
“Yes and we can’t believe it either! Is that even possible? Doctor Lee could do that?” Siwon exasperatedly inquires out to Ryeowook, face comical enough to draw laughter with his eyes bulging open like a fish. Seriously, if he doesn’t react this childish people won’t believe he’s 20 years old.
“Yah, Sejeong and Kibum said Doctor Lee really did that. Why can’t you believe it? Are you saying they’re lying?” Defend Lee Da Hae with Sejeong in her arms, rubbing her back to calm her friend down.
“It’s not that we don’t believe it. But it’s Doctor Lee Eunhyuk we’re talking about here. He’s a devil! How can he do such good things when he breathes evilness itself?!” Seo Kang Jun pipes out rather overdramatically along with the other boys nodding aggressively to his claim. Ryeowook who’s standing by the side couldn’t stop the amusement portrayed over his smirk. He watches how all of them look so scared of Doctor Lee, not wanting to believe the man’s thoughtfulness in protecting his students. But it’s true that they’re not the only batch perceiving Eunhyuk in such way. His kind act isn’t tend to be shown much even among the colleagues.
Although regardless of his spiteful tongue and ill-mannered behavior, Ryeowook knows who’s Lee Eunhyuk by heart nonetheless—they’ve been working together for four years. “Well, you might think that he’s evil but honestly Doctor Lee isn’t that bad. He’s kind and a righteous man. Moreover to the students. He might be harsh on you guys but trust me when I said he only wants the best for all of you.” His words make the kids all quiet. Some looking seemingly unable to accept it while some as if seeing a new light to the doctor. Ryeowook thoughts maybe after this incident they will see the good side of Eunhyuk more than just his bad and picky side. In that way, they will see how much Eunhyuk cares about people—in his own twisted and complicated way.
“I advise you not to worry about the patient too much. Let’s just hope for the best for him and hopefully things will be back like normal.” He adds again, content to see the look of peace in their faces. Even Sejeong has stopped crying. Ryeowook is glad for that.
It’s just another day in the hospital. Nothing they can’t handle.
Restlessness settled in Donghae’s mind after the last talk he has had with Hyukjae this late afternoon. The scene keeps repeating in his head like a broken cassette, at how angry and disappointed the latter is as he said those weird things to him in such a way he has never seen the other acting like in the long years they’ve known each other since little kids.
To which brings out so many unwanted thoughts inside Donghae’s mind, the many impossible and absurd thinking resurfacing in such ways that even he can’t comprehend. Yet they wouldn’t leave him alone along the day despite his efforts on taking more cases, attending patients here and there—even some with certain conditions totally new to him until required him to open some notebooks and ask the nurses around for help.
Although it has been a quite hectic day, the perturbed feelings refuse to leave him in peace. Thus here Donghae stood; outside of Doctor Lee’s office with his hands shaking and head dizzy. He knocks on the door thrice, entering as the permission is heard through the door.
The moment he’s inside the cozy white-walled room, Donghae finds Hyukjae sitting by the desk leafing through some thick files with his computer . The soft white-bluish l