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“Stress pains” He said. “It’s not that serious” He snorted.

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“How did this even happen?”

Chief Woo’s shrug was half apologetic and half nonchalant as he strides through the corridors. They pass by a few nurses on the way but besides from the occasional stare - Sung Jinwoo was South Korea’s golden boy after all, despite his utter dismay at the title - they leave them alone and do nothing more than bow before scrambling back to their duties.

“Laura-ssi mentioned something about him having stress pains in his abdominal area,” Chief Woo says, “It wasn’t serious, or so he thought. Thankfully, his appendix ruptured once he got off the plane and not during his flight, so I drove him to the hospital instead of your apartment.”

Jinwoo follows closely behind as they take the stairs from the first floor to the ICU, “He didn’t even tell me he was visiting the country.”

Chief Woo smiles, lowering his glasses down to shoot him a teasing look, “He said he wanted it to be a surprise.”

Jinwoo clicks his tongue and tries not to let his cheeks heat up even more. He doesn’t respond, although thankfully, he doesn’t have to. They reach Thomas Andre’s room within seconds.

He was already awake when they opened the door.

Idiot,” Jinwoo stomps towards the man, eyebrows slightly furrowed. Thomas looks up at their arrival and Jinwoo misses him doing a double take in his direction, too occupied with his visible fuming to notice anything besides the very annoyed feeling in his chest, “Who the hell calls an appendicitis stress pains?”

Chief Woo chuckles as he slides the door shut behind him and well, at least one of them was having fun in this situation, “In his defence, I would have probably been the same.”

Jinwoo resists the urge to roll his eyes, though he does make sure to express his displeasure very clearly, “You’re both idiots then.”

“Pot and kettle.” Chief Woo unashamedly retorts.

Jinwoo allows himself an undignified snort as he slowly approaches a silent Thomas’ bedside, “Don’t worry me like that ever again,” He says, before letting his stern look dissolve, a ghost of smile pulling at his lips, “I’m glad you’re okay though.”

Thomas nods, throat bobbing, eyes like a bug as they stare at Jinwoo with - something.

“Thomas?” Jinwoo says in concern, reaching out for the remote control on his bed and pressing the button to prop him up, “What’s wrong? Why are you being so quiet?”

“The doctors did mention he’d be loopy for a while,” Chief Woo offers as an explanation, “They gave him the good stuff.”

“Really now?” Jinwoo goes to fluff the pillows behind Thomas' back, sighing in relief. The man hasn’t stopped gaping at Jinwoo since he’d arrived, “If they say so.”

Chief Woo shrugs, “Well, they are the medical professionals here.” He responds and this time, Jinwoo does roll his eyes.

Thomas murmurs something underneath his breath and Jinwoo makes a questioning hum.

“What was that, Thomas?”

Thomas clears his throat, and then says, after a few unnerving minutes of silence, “No ring yet.” 

Jinwoo looks up from where he’s fluffing the man’s pillows, tilting his head in bemusement, “Excuse me?” 

Thomas clumsily takes his left hand, ignoring the IV drips, and smooths his thumb over the finger next Jinwoo’s pinky. 

“Single,” He says, looking up at Jinwoo’s sudden deer caught in the headlight expression.

And then he sends him the swarmiest fucking grin he’s ever seen coming from the man himself and that’s saying a lot

“Hey gorgeous, you free on Saturday night?”

Besides Jinwoo, Chief Woo sputters and then coughs to recover his composure. 

Jinwoo feels his face blow up in pure mortification.


Thomas pulls a little on his hand until Jinwoo stumbles, hand slamming by Thomas' bed on the opposite side of his hip.

“You have the prettiest eyes.” Thomas leans in and stares right into Jinwoo’s irises before he rakes his not entirely lucid gaze up and down his body like he was devouring him.

Oh my god, Jinwoo’s brain shuts down and restarts within the span of a second, Oh my god what -

“Has anyone ever told you it’s like looking into a pool of gemstones?” They were face to face, nose almost touching, the grip on Jinwoo’s hand tightening to lock him in place, “Shit, hold on don’t move - haven’t gotten my fill yet.”

Jinwoo snaps his head away when Thomas proceeds to silently stare at him and hisses to a highly amused Woo Jinchul, “What is he doing?

One of Chief Woo’s eyebrows recedes into his hairline when he replies, almost mockingly, “I believe he’s hitting on you.”

“Hitting on him?” Thomas interrupts confusedly, before he bursts out into a lovesick grin , “I mean. Yeah. Sure. Step one: flirt. Step two: put a ring on it. You want gold or diamonds sweetheart?”

Oh for Ashborn’s sake -  

“This can’t be happening.”  Jinwoo whispers to himself, equal parts horrified and touched because did - did this guy seriously just propose to him? While high on fucking drugs

Shifting slightly, and lifting his opposite hand to snap his fingers, Jinwoo calls out, “Thomas? Thomas - hey, do you remember who I am?” 

Thomas only looks at him like he’s about to go down on one knee and propose on the spot and Jinwoo squashes down the laugh building hysterically in his chest, “My future spouse?” He sighs dreamily. Chief Woo makes a suspicious noise from the corner of the room, but Thomas doesn’t let that deter him.

“Come on,” Thomas says - whines practically, “Give me a chance petal. I’ll have you falling for me in no time.”

“I’m,” Chief Woo’s complexion looks dangerously purple and - Jinwoo does a double take at the phone in his hand oh my god is he recording this? “I’m sorry, I can’t -”

Chief Woo.” He whispers, looking at him in betrayal, and the man has the audacity to bend over and wheeze, god Jinwoo hopes he chokes and dies.

Thomas turns his head at the sound Chief Woo’s laughter, frowning, aura shifting from pleased to slightly murderous.

“Who the hell are you meant to be?” He says, forcing Chief Woo to straighten up and clear his throat, lips still stretched into a smile, “What, are you his boyfriend or something?”

Fuck the double dungeon this is the absolute worst day of my entire life

The look of pure, unadulterated glee on Chief Woo’s face as he crosses his arms and leans haughtily against the wall like he wasn’t facing a jealous national level hunter, doped up to the nines with morphine or not, does not help matters at all.

“And what if I am?” Chief Woo taunts, “What are you gonna do about it?”

Thomas glowers at him, and the cloud of gloom and doom hanging above his head grows heavier.

“Hope you’ve got life assurance buddy because ex isn’t the only thing you’re about to be.”

Jinwoo snatches his hand back from the bedridden hunter, cheeks crimson, and glares at the phone still held in one of Chief Woo’s hands.

“Technically, husbands are just ex-boyfriends that levelled up,” Chief Woo says, and how the hell is he playing along with this - why the hell is he playing along with this, Jinwoo doesn’t want him to die goddamn it, “In that case then maybe you are right.” 

Jinwoo stares a little incredulously when Thomas’ bed frame creaks underneath his grip.

“Haven’t got a ring on him yet,” Thomas sneers, “Sides, I’m rich. And a good fuck. You look like a twink. Hey,” He turns to Jinwoo, this time with a more pleading look in his eyes, “I got this yacht. It’s cool. I won it from a bet. You ever had sex on a beach but like, in the literal sense? Let’s rent out the Caribbean for a week or something.

Chief Woo smiles and it wasn’t a kind one, “Hunter Sung, I can assure you I’m very much a good lay,” And then he says, “Also I have two yachts.” 

“Woo Jinchul shut up before you die, you crazy punk -”

“Oh,” Thomas sounds gleeful, “Oh, so you haven’t even laid him yet? What the hell are you getting so brave for? Sweetheart - Petal, do you really want a man like this?” He swivels around to Jinwoo and promptly ignores Chief Woo, whose grin was just as smug as Thomas’ for all the wrong reasons.

Now both of Jinwoo’s hands are in Thomas’, “I can treat you right,” He says, solemnly - declares like they’re in front of a priest and that priest was Chief Woo who was doing everything he can to stop their vows just because it was fucking hilarious, “I’ll treat you the best. Make you feel like a goddamn king. Let me prove myself.”

“No,” Chief Woo interjects, “You’ll have to fight me for Hunter Sung’s hand. To the death.

“I’ll twist you like a pretzel, bring it on -”

“Okay,” Jinwoo squeezes Thomas’ hands, “That’s enough. No one will be fighting anyone to the death. Thomas,” Thomas immediately snaps at his attention, like a moth drawn to a flame, “Chief Woo was just messing. Our relationship is purely professional.”

Chief Woo makes a sad, pitiful noise, “That’s a bit of an understatement, isn’t it Hunter Sung?”

Professional,” Jinwoo repeats ignoring the other man, before swallowing and averting his eyes, cheeks flushing again, “So you don’t - you don’t need to prove yourself. That’s not necessary.”

“I have to,” Thomas says quickly, almost panicking, “Gotta earn my right to get that ring on your finger. Gotta earn my right to take you out for dinner at least.”

“No,” Jinwoo says and then quickly amends at the absolute devastation on Thomas’ face, “I mean. You already have. Numerous times.”

Thomas blinks at him in shock, “I have?”

Jinwoo sighs and his smile was too fond to be truly exasperated. Not even Chief Woo’s patented bastard grin could wipe it off.

“You have,” Jinwoo nods, retracting a hand and placing it on the other’s jaw. Thomas jumps in surprise, a reverent look suffusing onto his mien, “I’m already your partner, dumbass.”

“No, seriously?” Thomas scrambles to clasp his hand above Jinwoo’s, “For real? Like, dinner dates and couch cuddles partner? Naked but also nekkid? That kind of mutual partnership?”

Chief Woo makes a sound reminiscent of a deflating balloon.


Thomas absentmindedly responds, “Yeah well there’s being naked and then there’s being naked and getting it on.”

A disconcerting giggle leaves Chief Woo’s chest and Jinwoo, for the sake of his sanity, presses both of his hands around Thomas’ mouth to get him to stop fucking talking

“Oh my god. Yes. Now please, shut up,” He says, “I’m going to let go and get a nurse because clearly, you’re high as a damn kite.”

Jinwoo’s hands slip off, carefully, and Thomas sends him another dopey smile.

“So. You and me? Nekkid partners that cuddle?”

Jinwoo casts his eyes up to the ceiling and blows a patient exhale through his nose, “Yes, Thomas,” He sighs, conceding, “Are you satisfied?”

“Oh fuck yeah,” He swivels to Chief Woo, “You hear that you fucking twink? I just hit the jackpot!”