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Kiss with a Fist

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There’s just something about hospitals that ticks Seongwoo off.

Maybe it’s the sterile smell of alcohol and disinfectant, or the hallways full of people either screaming or crying, or the rooms full of sick people…but no matter what the reason is, Seongwoo would never willingly step in and cross the hospital’s double doors.

Ever.

 

Perhaps that’s also the reason why he shrugged it off and went to work that day despite the chilliness he was feeling earlier in the morning. He also didn’t bother to eat breakfast that day because hey, he’s not feeling it okay. And so what if he did wear a thick hoodie that morning although it’s perfectly clear that summer season had already hit Seoul? 

And it’s also possibly the reason why he ended up blacking out in the middle of the dance class he’s teaching while his students panic around him.

Perhaps.

 

It’s ironic really, that he ended up stuck here inside the hospital for a few days because apparently he had ‘overworked’ himself (‘Almost to death!’ Jisung, the receptionist of the dance studio he’s working in, had shrieked exaggeratedly beside his bed when he woke up) and managed to put slight water on his lungs because he can’t be bothered to dry his sweat properly after dance classes. Seongwoo definitely scoffs at that. He takes care of himself perfectly, thanks.

 

It’s currently Day Two of his ‘hospital arrest’ and he’s definitely not feeling it anymore.

He hates how the bed is hard, how the pillows are even harder, and how the food tastes like crap. But most of all, he hates how he can’t do anything because of this freakin’ IV drip injected on his arm. (Oh yeah, he's also dehydrated.)

Three knocks on the door startles Seongwoo from his grumbling. The pillows and blankets he has piled up on top of him, shaking at his slight start. Despite the sound of the door being pushed open, he makes no attempt to move out of his very comfortable pillow pile.

“Mr…Ong? I’m here to check your vitals—Uhm, where are you?” The nurse’s deep voice resonates inside his silent room. Seongwoo makes a low noise of disagreement (despite the nurse’s terribly soothing voice), and shouted from under his pillow pile.

“FIGHT ME,” he says. (It was more of a fwayf meef  though.)

He hears some movement and the next thing he knows, his pillows are being removed one by one and the nurse’s smiling face is immediately in Seongwoo’s field of vision. He’s smiling brightly, this nurse, despite being faced with a grumpy patient such as himself. Bunny teeth and crescent eyes on full view, he taps Seongwoo’s forehead lightly and looks at his monitor.

“Maybe later, tiger,” Nurse Smiley only answers, tone light and playful, as he adjusts his IV drip.

Seongwoo can only squeak in return, watching Nurse Smiley walk out of his room in stunned silence.

 


 

The second time Seongwoo met Nurse Smiley, he’s already propped up on the bed, pillows supporting his back and blankets carefully pooled to cover his legs (courtesy of his personal butler, Hwang Minhyun, when he visited him earlier today).  

The same three knocks against his door as warning, before it’s being pushed open to reveal the nurse’s bright face, lips stretching into a playful smile as soon as he sees Seongwoo’s awake and definitely frowning face. He must’ve looked like a horror movie, him with his sickly pale face and dark eye bags. But Nurse Smiley (Kang Daniel, his name-tag says as Seongwoo’s finally coherent enough to look for a name-tag) is undeterred as he struts in and grins down at Seongwoo.

“So, Mr. Ong. Time to check your vitals,” Nurse Kang chirps cheerfully. And Seongwoo was about to give him a piece of his mind because honestly, Nurse Kang can definitely check his fist out rather than his vitals— but before he can growl out ‘fight me, you coward’ he's immediately attacked by a coughing fit.

Nurse Kang automatically lays a hand on his back, pressing his palms down gently and rubbing his back for him as Seongwoo continues to struggle through his coughing fit and breathlessness. But since he’s a fighter, he still managed to (somehow) cough out a (quite disgusting) “FIGHT ME, YOU COWARD.” Complete with flying spit and terrible hacking noises. (Ew.)

After his coughing has subsided, Nurse Kang got to work and checked his monitors and IV drip. His bottom lip caught between his bunny teeth as he struggles to not laugh at Seongwoo’s (admittedly) pathetic attempt to start a fight.

When Nurse Kang finishes his check, he steps back and looks at Seongwoo with amused eyes and says, “Hm, I definitely won’t fight you. ‘Cos I know you’d win anyway. Maybe next time, tiger.” 

A poke on his cheek, then he's out of the door and Seongwoo’s jaw has fallen to the ground.

 


 

 

The third time Ong Seongwoo sees Nurse Kang Daniel, he’s on the nurse’s station with Jisung, about to (finally!) get discharged after three days of hospital arrest (‘Seriously, Seongwoo. You’re such a drama queen, it wasn’t a hospital arrest.’ Jisung would always answer back).

He’s grumbling behind Jisung as  latter chats and catches up with the nurses about ‘hospital gossip’; because apparently Jisung knows a lot of hospital people, when all of a sudden a gift bag is dangling right in front of his face. He blinks twice before turning around and coming face to face with none other than Nurse Kang Daniel a.k.a Nurse Smiley, himself.

Seongwoo can only gape at Daniel’s shy smile and outstretched hand. Almost robotically, he clasps his fingers around the gift bag and takes it with a silent ‘thank you’.

Daniel only grins at him, his hand rubbing the back of his nape shyly. Pointing at the bag and he says, “For remembrance. I hope you had a nice time.”

Silence.

“…I was literally hospitalized and sick, Daniel.”

The nurse colored at his his reply, and Seongwoo internally counts it as a win because Daniel's been the one making him embarrassed during the last three days. Straightening his back, Daniel clears his throat and tries again.

“I mean, uh, a ‘I’m glad you recovered’  gift from me.”

“Well, it’s all thanks to my wonderfully patient nurse I guess.” Seongwoo answers sheepishly, mind flashing back to all the embarrassing moments of him trying to pick a fight with Daniel (which, he realized, was a very bad idea ‘cos Daniel can easily break him in half—why is he so massive?)

“Nah, it’s all you.” Daniel answers. Slightly awkward silence is shared between the two of them,with both parties too embarrassed to say anything and they can only shoot small smiles to each other. 

“You know,” Daniel starts after a while, making Seongwoo look back at him, “I never took you on with that fight.”

“Oh—you can forget all about...that.”

“No, no. You tried to fight me twice. I never gave you an answer.” The nurse says as he steps inside Seongwoo’s space, lips stretching back into that playful smile Seongwoo kept seeing during the last three days.

“So, fight me?” He asks as he taps on the card attached on the gift bag twice before stepping back and walking away with a small wave and a mischievous wink.

Seongwoo’s too dumbstruck to move for three seconds. Then his mind snaps back to Daniel’s hint.

He can't help his lips from stretching out into a full-blown smile as he reads the card attached on the paper bag.

 

Wanna fight me?

xxx-xxxx-xxx-x

—Kang Daniel

 

Maybe hospitals aren’t so bad after all. He might even find himself coming back just to visit a certain nurse.