Carrying a large box brim full of supplies through the hospital, Tom discovered, was no easy task (nor was driving through Christmas Eve traffic. His family would miss him, sure, but this was important). Especially when the elevator reserved for visitors was out of service, and he was forced to take the stairs to leave the patient elevators clear. Nurses and doctors pushed past him as he clung to the box for dear life, praying that no one would recognize him, even with his hat, hood, and sunglasses. It’s not that he didn’t want to pay a visit to some people in the hospital, he’d love too and he’d probably have a great time… he just… had someplace to be. Not to mention the five other boxes he had to bring up… it would be a miracle if he wasn’t kicked out before he was able to finish. On the sixth and final delivery, he thought back to how this had all began. How he had received a vague phone call from Charlotte, Harrison’s sister, telling him to hurry to the hospital. Something about Harrison himself being there.
As Tom drove towards the building, he had thought it might’ve only been something like a broken leg, or maybe he burned himself while cooking… well, trying to cook. Tom had laughed at that as he strolled into the reception area and asked to see Harrison. The lady took down his name and pointed him in the right direction. He thanked her and was on his way, humming some random song he heard on the radio from the early 2000’s. As he approached Harrison’s room, he saw Charlotte and Mrs. Osterfield sitting outside, daughter comforting mother. Immediately, Tom’s concern grew. He sped up his walk until he arrived in front of the door.
“What’s going on?” he had asked.
Mrs. Osterfield sniffed and blew her nose, wiping at her eyes. “Harrison was just… he woke up saying he felt really hot, and I had noticed it looked like he had lost a bit of weight… and he started complaining about an area around his neck so I- I called the hospital and-“ She had to stop, for the tears were flowing freely from her eyes. She stood and went off to the bathroom, leaving Tom standing there in shock with Charlotte at his side. He hadn’t expected Harrison to be… so sick.
“We haven’t heard anything from the doctors, but we know that he should be awake and they’re just checking some things out,” she said quietly. She looked up at Tom. “I know how much he means to you. He’ll get there, I know, with your help.”
Tom’s has dropped open. How could she possibly-
“I’m not daft,” Charlotte said, smiling softly. “I've seen the way you two look at each other. Hell, I even saw you sneak kisses during Easter. I support you guys, you deserve to be happy.”
At this, Tom found his eyes to be welling up. He leaned down and hugged the girl for a moment. “Thank you Charlotte,” he whispered. “I really do love him.”
“Just as long as you don’t break his heart,” she teased, but she had teared up as well. “I know he loves you too. He’s always smiling when you text him, or when he visits home and talks about you. You two are perfect for each other.”
He moved away from the hug and pressed a palm to his eyes. “God, I just… I hope he’s okay.”
Tom finally hauled the last box into Harrison’s room. The boy himself was sound asleep, still undergoing treatment. The leukemia had advanced to stage four, but the doctors said not to lose hope. Tom didn’t 100% understand, but he trusted them nonetheless. He just wanted Harrison to get better so they could go home without the fear of… no. Harrison had already been devastated when they told him he would probably lose his hair during the treatment… Tom couldn’t imagine what would happen if he was given any other… worse news.
As soon as the final box was dropped, Tom hurried over to Harrison’s side and pressed a kiss to his forehead. He only stirred slightly, but Tom knew his boyfriend’s sleep schedule here at the hospital… he had a few hours.
“Merry Christmas,” he whispered, gently thumbing the blond’s palm. “It’s snowing. You’d be so happy about the snow if you were awake.”
Tom couldn’t help but smile at the sight of his sleeping boyfriend, gently running a hand over his head. “Time to get to work.”
Tom stepped back and admired what he had done. He finally convinced the nurses to let him bring in a fake tabletop Christmas tree, which was sitting on a little side table in the corner of the slightly small room. Fairy lights lined the ceiling, there was some garland, and fluffy cotton snow, a stocking for Harrison, and a bunch of other fun yet tasteful Holiday paraphernalia. He smiled and sat beside Harrison’s bed, just out of his field of vision to wait for him to wake up. It was about a half an hour before the patient stirred and his eyes fluttered open. He sighed and took a deep breath as his eyesight adjusted to the light of the room. Suddenly, he looked up in wonder and let out a wet laugh, scanning the decorations all around him. Tears slipped down his cheeks as he wondered who could’ve ever done this for him.
Tom put a hand on Harrison’s shoulder and gave it a gentle squeeze. “Merry Christmas, my love.”
Harrison lurched in surprise and looked over Tom with wide eyes. “D-did you do this?”
Tom nodded, worried that it was too much. “Yeah, do you like it? Is it too much?”
Harrison moved a hand up to Tom’s cheek and ran his thumb over the creamy smooth skin. “It’s- thank you so much, Tom,” he whispered, still unconsciously crying. “I love it.”
“I love you,” Tom said, putting his hand over the other boy’s. “I just figured… you shouldn’t be alone here on Christmas without any decorations.”
Harrison let his hand fall to Tom’s and tugged on his arm. Tom laughed gently and leaned down to give his boyfriend a hug, only pulling back to press their lips together.
“I love you too,” Harrison whispered. “So, so much. I don’t deserve you.”
“Hush,” Tom whispered back. “If anything, you deserve so much better.”
The two boys continued to talk for a bit until Harrison was beginning to feel tired again. “Hold on a minute,” Tom said, pulling a wrapped present out of the last box. Harrison frowned slightly.
“I don’t have anything for you…”
“Don’t worry darling, your mum’s pampered me enough.”
Harrison sighed. “Okay…” He took the present from Tom and slowly tore away the wrapping paper to reveal a slim envelope. He opened it up and pulled out a collection of papers…
“Oh my god,” Harrison whispered. Once more, he began to cry. “My treatments over?”
Tom nodded, intertwining their fingers. “You’ll be home in time for the New Year.”
Harrison laughed in relief and rested the papers on his chest, picking them up and reading it over again. Tom’s hand slipped away.
“You know, this is-“ he looked over at Tom beside him at the bed, but stopped talking when he saw the boy on one knee.
“Harrison…” Tom started, “You’ve been my best friend for as long as I can remember. When we’re together… I just feel so loved and happy. I knew when you first looked at me with a blush on your cheeks and a twinkle in your eye that I wanted to marry you. I know it will be difficult because of other people, but I know we won’t make it difficult for each other. You’re perfect for me, cancer survivor and all. Haz… would you do me the honor of becoming my husband?”
Harrison fumbled for words. “Y-yes Tom, of bloody course I will,” he managed, forcing himself up to hug his now fiancé. “I love you, I love you, I love you.”
Tom laughed. “I love you, love you, love you too.”
Tom slipped the ring onto Harrison’s ring finger, clasping his hand and pressing a kiss to the back. “You’re so beautiful, Harrison. My Hazza.”
The other boy laughed sadly and shrugged. “Not as much as before.”
Tom mock pouted. “Just as beautiful.”
“Really, Harrison,” the brunette whispered. “You’re bloody gorgeous. I don’t care that you have no hair. That you might not have it for a while. You’ll always look good to me.”
Harrison bit his lip. “If you don’t stop, I’ll be crying all throughout your visit.”
“Speaking of which,” Tom said, “you should be getting some sleep. I’ll be back tomorrow, yeah? I’ll bring Sam, Harry, Paddy… mum and dad…”
“We haven’t even told them that we’ve been seeing each other, and now we’re engaged…”
The two boys laughed and embraced once more. “Merry Christmas.”
The lights on the walls twinkled throughout the night, but the warmth in their hearts lit up the room more than any set of fairy lights.