It was three o'clock in the morning when Kyungsoo heard Jongin admit to something that tore the elder apart. It was long past visiting hours, but Kyungsoo had insisted that he stayed and the nurses couldn't argue because it was obvious that Jongin needed him.
"...sleepy..." Jongin mumbled through the oxygen mask, eye's lidded. He was on heavy medication and the doctors had warned him that it would be difficult to speak. But leave it up to Kim Jongin to find someway to voice himself even in the harshest moments.
"Shh, I know..." The smaller male whispered, running his fingers through his boyfriends hair. "Don't talk anymore. Go to bed, your surgery is in a few hours."
"...Kyungsoo?" Jongin called after a moment of pained silence. Kyungsoo looked up.
It's moments like this, Jongin thought, when whatever you say could be the last thing that your lover will ever hear from you, this is when your mind goes blank. Jongin wanted to tell Kyungsoo how sorry he was, how much he loved him, how he really wanted to spend the rest of his life with him and hold him and love him unconditionally. He opened his mouth to speak but all that could come out was a weak and strained, "I'm scared."
It was three o'clock in the morning, and Kyungsoo's heart broke.
But he preferred this more than another 'I love you', Kyungsoo told himself, and he leaned over Kai's skinny body and kissed his forehead. "You'll be okay." He whispered. "We'll be okay."
Jongin feebly smiled and closed his eyes.
Kyungsoo was waiting, once again. He sat in the dimly lit hall as he took deep breaths and fiddled his thin fingers. He knew, he knew, that Jongin was going to be okay, but being in the hospital, being forced to see the reality of the situation had shaken him to his core. "He'll be fine." Kyungsoo whispered to himself.
The doctor had spoken to him before Jongin was sent into surgery, he had told Kyungsoo that Jongin wouldn't be the same, even if he recovered, and the small male had rolled his eyes because he had been told that over and over again.
"We're removing half of his brain. Although there are not many situations like Jongin's, it is not something unknown. Since his brain is beginning to shut down, we're removing it before it could spread. His recovery will be difficult and, chances are, he may never be able to live as he did before." The doctor had told him.
Kyungsoo stiffened but nodded. "I know."
"But-" The doctor looked up with gentle eyes. "I have a feeling the boy will make it through with you by his side."
As much as Kyungsoo tried to hide it, he was devestated. He couldn't deny that he had fallen in love with Kai because of his witty personality-- every fond memory he had was with Jongin and his sarcastically spastic ramblings.
But Kyungsoo choked down his doubt and told himself that it would all be okay, because Jongin would always be Jongin and he would love him no matter what.
Jongin didn't wake up. He went into a comatose slumber and Kyungsoo began to delve into a panicked insanity. It was ironic, really, both halves of the pair losing their minds.
The world is cruel.
"It's been a month and he's not showing any response." The doctor said. Kyungsoo stared. He stared and stared and stared, wide eyes, gaunt cheeks, parted lips, he stared.
"I'm not giving up on him." Kyungsoo said, oddly resigned. "You're not allowed to, either."
The world is so, so cruel, to want to take away such a beautiful mind.
Everything Kyungsoo had known was shattered.
A year into breathing through tubes and being connected to various machines just to stay alive, Jongin moved.
A year into standing by Jongin's bed side, laboring to pay off the enormous bills, praying to the Gods and cursing their cruelty, Kyungsoo smiled.
Jongin opened his eyes days later, and immediately caught Kyungsoo's gaze. He weakly lifted off his oxygen mask and he spoke. "Hey."
Kyungsoo grinned and leaned over, pressing their foreheads together. "Hey you."
The left side of Jongin's brain was removed, the right side of his body was paralyzed, but Jongin was awake and alive and talking and Kyungsoo cied for the first time as he took Jongin's face in his hands and kissed him.
"I still can't believe it." The doctor laughed, clapping Kyungsoo on his back. "His recovery is going better than we expected. It's amazing, really, a miracle. It's hard to believe that just one year ago he was comatose."
"Yeah, well." Kyungsoo scoffed at Jongin who was running down the hall to them with open arms, only a slight limp on his left leg, "Jongin is surprisingly-"
"You son of a ." Jongin breathed, looping an arm around Kyungsoo's neck. "You told me you were done paying off the bills, why did you lie to me?"
"Kyungsoo." Jongin grinned. "You're forgetting that despite half of my brain, the left side, might I add, the one that controls my critical thinking, being completely removed, I am still infinitely more intelligent than you are. I don't know how you managed to hide it from me, but I'm not going to let you pay them off alone. Maybe I'll write a book about it, or become a lab rat, because I know these doctors have been yearning to poke around at me. They would be all up in this if you weren't growling at everything that comes near me."
Kyungsoo's face flamed as Sehun and the doctor laughed besides him. "I liked it better when you couldn't speak."
"False." Jongin pressed a kiss to Kyungsoo's temple. "You lie."
The doctor smiled warmly. "I really do have a lot of questions."
"I know." Kyungsoo grinned.
To every question ever asked, to each prodding and personal inquiry, Kyungsoo would smile and answer with one sentence.
"The doctors are saying that Jongin's surprising awakening and recovery was mainly because he had you by his side. How did you do it?" The journalist asked in awe.
Jongin gave Kyungsoo a knowing grin. "Life is an interrobang."
Surprising, full of disbelief and questioning, unanswered inquiries, a question mark and an exclamation point.
Life goes on, it's your choice if it ends with periods and ellipses.
But to Jongin and Kyungsoo, they've both always preferred the informal.
first of all, i am so so so sorry that this took so long. i couldn't think of a way to wrap everything up, so this is the short but sweet ending i hope you all wanted. it would have been much longer, but i felt that it would only drag out. this is my preferred ending, i'm sorry.
thank you so much for the continuous support on this epic journey, i am so grateful to you all.
unfortunately, i'm retiring from writing (fanfics, at least). that's why this took so long, but i couldn't just not finish this, that would be unfair to leave you at such a point.
since this is the ending, both for this story, and as an author on AFF, i ask that you leave a comment <3
thank you all so much, maybe we'll meet again in the future.