Hyukjae wakes up the next morning with a low-grade headache, but the pain is nowhere near the level of a hangover.
He drags himself out of bed and shuffles to the bathroom. A quick shower later, the headache is almost completely gone. He makes quick work of brushing his teeth and fixing his hair a bit before he heads out to the kitchen.
When he steps out of the bathroom, he stops suddenly, his eyes glued to the lump on his couch. He had forgotten that he had a guest from last night.
He pads his way over to the living room, trying to be as quiet as possible. He stops in front of the couch, unable to stop himself from staring. Donghae had pulled the blankets over his up past his nose some time during the night, his hair sticking up at odd angles. Hyukjae almost reaches out to see if his hair is as soft as it looks, but refrains.
He’s about to walk away, when the lump of blankets begins to stir and then Donghae sits upright, blinking groggily.
“Wh—” he begins, rubbing at his eyes with his fist.
“You fell asleep before you could tell me where you lived,” Hyukjae says, answering Donghae’s unasked question. “I took you to my place, hope that’s okay.”
“Ah,” Donghae says, yawning. “I see. Thank you.”
Hyukjae raises an eyebrow.
“You’re not hungover? No headache, nothing?”
Donghae frowns. “What? No.”
Hyukjae gapes. “How? You were so drunk last night, how do you not have a hangover?”
Donghae shrugs. Hyukjae shakes his head trying to fight the jealousy that’s rising up his chest. His hangovers are notoriously terrible, oh, what he wouldn’t give to not have them.
“If you want to wash your face or something, the bathroom’s over there,” he says, gesturing in the direction. Donghae stretches, not unlike a cat, and nods.
“Thank you,” he says as he stands.
“No problem,” he says. “I’m going to make breakfast, do you have any requests?”
“No thank you,” Donghae says, his voice still sleep-hoarse. Hyukjae watches helplessly as Donghae heads to the bathroom, his eyes lingering on the strip of skin where Donghae’s dress shirt had ridden up over the course of the night. When Donghae disappears into the bathroom, Hyukjae has to shake himself out of his stupor before heading to the kitchen.
His repertoire of what he can make is severely limited, but he can scramble eggs and make toast, which should be more than enough for breakfast. He’s about to start when the bathroom door slams open and Donghae comes rushing out.
His hair is in a slightly better shape, now, and his shirt is tucked in. The sleepiness that had been hanging over Donghae is gone, replaced by a panicked, slightly crazed look.
“What time is it?” he asks.
Hyukjae glances at the clock over Donghae’s shoulder. “It’s almost nine.”
“,” Donghae says, catching Hyukjae off guard—he hadn’t expected that. Donghae scrambles, grabbing the shoes and blazer Hyukjae had helped him remove last night and practically runs to the door. Before he exits, he turns and bows slightly at Hyukjae. “Thanks for bringing me back last night. And for the offer for breakfast. But I have to go.”
And then Donghae is out the door before Hyukjae can even get a word of goodbye in. Hyukjae spends several seconds staring at the closed front door, not quite sure what to do now. He no longer really has a need to make a big breakfast, so he puts everything away and pulls out some cereal.
He finishes his mediocre breakfast and places the dishes on the sink. Then he gets to work catching up for his finals, which were a little more than a week away.
He loses himself in his studying, as he often does. Hours go by without him being consciously aware of it until he’s snapped out of his concentration by the sound of pounding at the front door. Hyukjae frowns, checking his phone for the time. It’s four in the afternoon, and he can’t think of anyone who would be coming around at this time. Yesung has a key, so it wouldn’t be him, and anyone else he knew would text beforehand.
But the knocking persists, so Hyukjae puts his pen down and heads to the door.
“Yeah, yeah, I’m coming,” he grumbles. He yanks the door open without checking who is knocking. A figure comes falling into the apartment and into Hyukjae’s arms. Hyukjae glances down, his eyes widening at the sight of Donghae.
"I wasn't supposed to go out at night, but I—I thought he wouldn't be home until this afternoon," Donghae stammers as Hyukjae maneuvers him upright. "Then I would just get home, sleep, and then be there when he got home. But he—he changed his plans. Came home at midnight. He was waiting for me to come home and when I did, he—"
Donghae cuts himself off with a gasp and Hyukjae fumbles to help ground him, pulling the man into his arms again. The contact seems to help Donghae calm down. He holds Donghae until the man gets his breathing under control.
Donghae's words whirl through his head and Hyukjae has to fight the bubbling guilt. He had asked Donghae to come out. This was partially his fault. He closes his eyes and pushes the feeling away: now is not the time for this.
Donghae does calm down a bit, and when he does, Hyukjae looks down.
He can barely make out the other man’s face, especially with the hood on, but closer inspection, he can see blood.
"Oh my god," he says. He pulls back a bit, but still keeps a supporting hand on Donghae's shoulder. He can feel the other man shaking like a leaf through the thin material of the hoodie. "Donghae, do you think we can go to the living room?"
When Donghae nods, Hyukjae gently steers him to the couch. Donghae sits down gingerly, and Hyukjae notes that he is favouring his right side. When Donghae is situated on the couch, Hyukjae hovers.
"Can I take your hood off?"
Donghae nods again. Hyukjae reaches out slowly, but even so, Donghae flinches. Hyukjae holds his hand still until Donghae settles and he slowly pulls Donghae's hood off.
It takes all his willpower not to outwardly react. A good portion of the right side of Donghae's face is covered in blood. So much so that Donghae's keeping his eye partially closed in order to keep blood from flowing into it.
And flowing it is—head wounds bleed a lot and Hyukjae has seen it many times before. Blood is still dripping down from the wound, at a pace that is concerning.
Hyukjae runs to the bathroom, pulling a towel from the bottom of the vanity. He rushes back to Donghae, who is staring at a particular spot on the floor. Hyukjae presses the towel to the wound, muttering apologies when Donghae winces.
"This is bad," he says. "We should take you to the hospital."
"No, no hospital," Donghae says immediately, his breathing picking up. Hyukjae frowns—with a head injury like this, it would definitely be in Donghae's best interest to go to the hospital. But at the same time, Donghae's distress is so palpable that Hyukjae quickly makes up his mind.
"Okay," Hyukjae says. "I can help you with this here, but I don't have any supplies. I'm going to have to call Yesung, okay? I won't tell him anything I don't have to."
Donghae, who is still trying to get his tears under control, just nods.
"Okay, then hold this towel," Hyukjae says, gently moving Donghae's hand so that he's holding the towel Hyukjae had been using to stem the bleeding in place. Donghae holds it but doesn't react outwardly otherwise.
Hyukjae rushes to his bedroom, where he grabs his phone and speed dials Yesung. He knows Donghae definitely had either bruised or broken ribs as well, based on how he had moved, so he needed something for that as well. And who knows what other injuries Donghae has.
"Hello?" Yesung answers on the third ring.
"Yesung," Hyukjae says with a sigh of relief. "I need your help."
He hears some rustling on the other side of the phone. "What is it?"
"I need you to get me some medical supplies. Something for cleaning wounds, bandages and something to wrap ribs, things to stitch a wound, and something for bruises."
There's a moment of silence on the other end before Yesung finally says: "It's Donghae, isn't it?"
"...I will neither confirm, nor deny," Hyukjae says. "Can you get it for me?"
"Yeah, give me thirty minutes," Yesung says.
"Thank you," Hyukjae breathes. "