There’s a lot of things that Jinyoung would be able to tell you that is wrong with him. Be it his weight or his posture. In addition to that, his manager likes to say that his too bubbly of an ass is a problem too. Yet his job makes it easier to turn those imperfections into something that sets him apart from others. At least that’s what he tells himself to keep going, in this cut-throat industry where appearances come first while morals and personality are sadly placed on the back-burner.
Though, in recent months. He hadn’t been thinking much about his job.
No point thinking of something that you can no longer go back to.
The first few times Jinyoung had verbalised this concern, he was smacked on the head - despite having a head injury by his manager. The reality is that even if he somehow manages to crawl his way back to normalcy, the industry would’ve found someone else to replace him.
His manager likes to tell him that the industry is dying without him, bellying up like a beached whale but Jinyoung can’t do anything about it - even if he wanted to. Given that he can’t even walk. Doctors told him that he was lucky that they didn’t have to amputate his legs, but he found it hard to rejoice in that fact when his bread and butter was dependent on his ability to walk with poise and sway his hips.
Which is something he clearly can’t do, if he can’t even walk - can he?
The last few months of his life passed by in a blur, he was passed to and fro between different departments to fix all the things that were wrong with him. Be it his broken nose, his punctured lung, and even his head - which he’s sure was already screwed up before the accident.
For the first time in a while, his head wasn’t fuzzy due to anaesthetic. He can finally process the usual crap that came out of his manager’s mouth. Jackson Wang had a penchant for talking Jinyoung’s ear off on usual days, and that was with Jinyoung’s witty retorts. Now that Jinyoung was still groggy from the drugs in his system, Jackson capitalised on the lack of “Shut Up Jacks” and rambled even more.
From the bits and pieces of what Jinyoung’s fuzzy brain can process he gathers that he’s meeting his physiotherapist today. He picks up bits and pieces of Jackson’s rambling, understanding that his therapist goes by the name Dr Yu. She’s apparently the best PT in the country and that no matter how much of charm Jinyoung employs, she won’t let him off easy.
Jackson has emphasised how professional and firm she is - multiple times. Jinyoung wonders if Jackson knows her personally but he doesn’t recount Jackson ever getting injured and requiring to see a PT. It dawns on Jinyoung that Jackson - his closest friend and manager, who took his work seriously might’ve hooked up with the PT that he was seeing in mere minutes.
He then decides that he doesn’t want to entertain that thought process, his head hurts enough as it is. He just hopes that Jackson doesn’t think of having a repeat of whatever that happened between them in Jinyoung’s presence. He doesn’t need the details of his manager’s sex life. No sir. No thank you.
Though, it does plant doubts in Jinyoung’s mind if Doctor Yu is as serious as Jackson makes her out to be. There’s a knock at the door and well - there’s no time like the present to find out how reliable Jackson is.
Jackson leaps to his feet and pulls open the sliding door, and Doctor Yu doesn’t offer him anything beyond a polite smile before turning her attention to Jinyoung - and immediately her face falls. Jinyoung even in his groggy state notices how her entire being simply freezes and the grip on her clipboard tightens.
Jinyoung wonders if it’s because of how swollen his face looks and he hadn’t had the time to observe himself in the mirror. He doesn’t know if he should apologise but he really hopes that he doesn’t still look like a cement truck steamrolled into him.
Dr Yu takes in a steadying breath before closing her eyes and blowing out a breath and turning her attention to Jinyoung - gaze locked onto his. Jinyoung wants to ask her if something’s the matter but he doesn’t get a chance to do so before Dr Yu jumps into a list of prepared questions. And before he knows it, he’s given a pen to sign his consent to the earlier outlined treatments he would be undergoing.
Despite the earlier hiccup of an odd greeting, Jinyoung had to admit that Jackson’s opinion of Dr Yu wasn’t skewed. She was professional, firm and amicable. Jinyoung was pretty sure he’d be in good hands.
“Thank you so much for your time Jinyoung-ssi, I’ll check back in on you tomorrow. We’ll get started on the exercises for bedside movement.”
Jinyoung smiles and offers her a nod and bids her farewell. Just as she’s about to leave the room, she seems to hesitate for a moment as if trying to decide on something. It appears that shes’s made her decision when she spins around and directs Jinyoung a rather forced smile.
“Jinyoung-ssi are the provided blankets inadequate, would you like me to put in a request for more blankets?”
Jinyoung blinks for a few moments, confused before he notices the folded lizard patterned blanket at the foot of his hospital bed. Jackson had brought it in, as it was apparently a gift from one of Jinyoung’s favourite designers Bambam who was an odd fan of reptiles. Jinyoung couldn’t stand reptiles and specifically disliked lizards, he was planning to get Jackson to drop it off at his apartment - hoping to never see it ever again.
“Oh no, that wouldn’t be necessary. Thank you for your concern though.” Jinyoung replies with a smile, hoping to ease Doctor Yu’s frown. The other simply hums a reply before furtively glancing at the blanket and Jinyoung is wondering if he’s imagining things when Doctor Yu blanches at it.
“I’ll get the nurses to adjust the temperature in your room, it does seem quite chilly in here.”
Without further fanfare, she leaves and Jinyoung is left with a rather dejected Jackson who groans once he’s sure that Doctor Yu is out of earshot.
“God she must think I’m a lizard loving freak now.”
With that, Jinyoung lets out a laugh that causes his ribs to throb but it’s the first time he’d laughed since the accident.
In the next few exchanges with Dr Yu, Jinyoung finds himself really finding a friend in her. With the removal of that atrocious blanket that Jinyoung has to begrudgingly thank Bambam for - she’s a lot more at ease. In the confines of the four grey walls, with no one to talk to except for the sporadic visits from Jackson who under the persuasion of Jinyoung had used his now free time to revisit his hobby of being a DJ. Jinyoung’s daily visits from Doctor Yu were things he’d grown to look forward to.
They start off with small talk and the doctor is always careful to not ask about Jinyoung’s accident and how he ended up in such a horrible condition. She’s always so supportive and even when Jinyoung feels like it was likely that he’d die before being able to walk on his own - she’s there to reassure him that “No Jinyoung-ssi, you won’t turn grey before you get your mobility back.”
Even when Jinyoung feels like a child despite being 25, he’s still determined to get back onto his feet. It helps that Doctor Yu tells him about her past experiences with patients when he feels like he’s not making any progress. She tells him that he’s far from being the most problematic patient she has had.
Jinyoung laughs at the story of how a patient with a leg injury came to see her in jeans and they were working on rehabilitation in the open-spaced hospital gym. She had politely told him to remove his jeans to change into shorts to facilitate easy treatment. How was she supposed to know that the bar holding the curtains would fail and expose him buck-assed naked to the entire gym?
“What kind of guy comes to the hospital commando, in skin-tight jeans?”
Despite Jinyoung’s worry about his lack of progression. Doctor Yu reassures him that given time, Jinyoung would finally be able to walk on his own! He doesn’t have to charm her into letting him use a wheelchair so that Jackson can push him around the hospital. It’s during one of their sessions that leads up to Jinyoung finally being given his own wheelchair that doesn’t have to be loaned ‘illegally’ that Doctor Yu brings up a new patient.
“What’s with my luck and being given cases of beautiful people?” She muses as she watches Jinyoung with a hawk-eyed gaze, tracking his movement. Jinyoung can move slightly quicker around his bed and doing laps around the bed doesn’t leave him winded and gasping for breath anymore.
“I always knew I was your type Doctor Yu. You can’t withstand my charms.” Jinyoung teases as he wiggles his eyebrows at the doctor. She simply rolls her eyes at Jinyoung’s statement before helping him settle back down onto the bed.
“I’m not kidding, before coming here, I met this new outpatient who possibly has the sharpest cheekbones I’ve seen in my life. Don’t give me that look Jinyoung-ssi, they’re sharper than yours. He has the broadest shoulders I have ever seen, and don’t get me started on his nose. I think his looks could even rival yours.” She teases, giving Jinyoung a wink.
Jinyoung scowls at her and pouts before readjusting himself on the edge of his bed. He tilts his head with a questioning expression on his face.
“So what if he’s good looking, I’m still your favourite right? Why else would you come to see me every day?”
“It’s part of my rounds Jinyoung-ssi. You’re not that special, and my office is literally three doors down from your ward. It doesn’t take too much effort to come to see you.” She scoffs.
Jinyoung puffs out his cheeks in a pout. Doctor Yu simply lets out a chuckle at his childish response before giving him a run-down on his progress. She casually mentions that Jinyoung would be given his own wheelchair tomorrow and he wouldn’t have to look two ways in corridors when Jackson wheels him around. God, he really wants to feel the sun on his skin without fearing that he’ll get caught by nurses.
It’s to absolutely no surprise that Jinyoung jumps at every opportunity to bug Jackson to push him around in his wheelchair. His wheelchair! He’s found a perfect spot in the hospital’s sky garden to bask in the sunlight and feel the wind against his skin. He’s sure his stint in the hospital had turned him as pale as a ghost and possibly as fragile as a sheet that could be blown away by a strong gust of wind.
Though on one particular morning, Jinyoung was feeling antsy and rather tired of being cooped indoors but Jackson wasn’t around to push him to the sky garden. As ambitious as Jinyoung was, he wasn’t crazy enough to attempt to push himself the long distance there. Hence, he decides to do the next best thing - which was to go bother Doctor Yu. The doctor had mentioned that most of the time, Jinyoung was her first patient of the day.
So, he wheels himself down three doors and as he raises his hand to knock on the door. He notices the heavy breathing, grunts and moans that come from behind the door. He pauses and frowns before peering at the nameplate at the top of the door. It’s clearly Doctor Yu’s office.
He hears a loud curse and even more moans - that Jinyoung clearly identifies as a male’s voice. Jinyoung’s cheeks are flushed red and he’s too stunned to move away from the door even when the noises stop. The other side of the door remains silent for a few moments before there’s what sounds like a flurry of paper being shuffled and murmurs before the door is pulled open and Jinyoung is met staring at a muscular chest.
He drags his gaze upwards and sees a rather flushed man who has multiple piercings and the most piercing gaze Jinyoung had ever seen in his life. The other cheeks were flushed red. There was a trickle of sweat dripping down the side of his face, which he uses his shoulder to wipe. Must’ve been a real workout. Jinyoung finds himself thinking, and the other thing that crosses his mind is Damn he’s hot. The man was dressed in gym shorts and a muscle tee that revealed his muscular arms. Jinyoung can't help but let his imagination wander about what those muscular arms would feel around him.
The other arches one of his sharp brows and Jinyoung duly notes that this man is all sharp angles, and has a perfect bone structure. It’s a sharp juxtaposition to the fluffy, long mop of hair that the other is sporting. Jinyoung involuntarily swallows before it finally dawns on him, how close he is to the other. He wheels himself back a few feet and gives the other what he hopes is an apologetic smile.
The other returns Jinyoungs embarrassed smile with a bright grin that immediately changes the perception of him as a ferocious tiger to maybe a domesticated housecat. The other’s smile tilts Jinyoung’s perception of him on an axis. That predatory imagery that Jinyoung associated with his sharp features melts away into pure, simple adoration for the other's beauty.
“I’m sorry for intruding, I’m Park Jinyoung. Doctor Yu’s my therapist and I was bored and thought of dropping by. I didn’t know she had prior engagements.” Jinyoung rushes out, tips of his ears burning red in what he thinks is embarrassment.
To Jinyoung’s surprise, the other doesn’t look sheepish or embarrassed that he was caught leaving Doctor Yu’s office. In fact, he offers Jinyoung a reassuring smile and a shrug before saying:
“Nice to meet you Jinyoung, I’m Im Jaebeom. No worries, you didn’t interrupt anything. We were almost done anyway.”
Jinyoung’s brain is frazzled from how nonchalant the other seems to be about having sex in a goddamn hospital of all places, but then again with his looks - Jinyoung wouldn’t be surprised if this was a common occurrence.
“Jinyoung? Is that you? Did you wheel yourself here, Jackson isn’t with you?” Doctor Yu calls from behind the broad-shouldered man and Jinyoung being shocked out of his thoughts, drops his phone onto the ground. The man looks conflicted for a moment as if carefully considering his next actions before appearing to brace himself and attempt to bend down - as if he has a bad back.
“Jaebeom-ssi! What are you doing? You should know better!” Just as he’s about to commit to the action of bending and picking up Jinyoung’s phone, Doctor Yu snatches the phone from the ground and hands it to Jinyoung. The other’s expression is one of relief as he readjusts his posture, wincing when he straightens his back. That’s when realisation dawns on Jinyoung.
So Jaebeom wasn’t a booty call. Interesting.
“I’m sorry Doc. I felt ambitious today and it’s not like he could pick it up himself either.”
Jinyoung flushes in embarrassment and he averts his gaze, nibbling on his bottom lip. He really wants to dig a hole and bury himself in it. Shame on him for thinking that having sex in a hospital was a regular thing and a socially accepted thing. He must seriously be watching too much of shitty porn.
“You’re not out of the woods yet mister. Don’t you dare go back to the gym if it isn’t for rehabilitation, you hear me?” Doctor Yu chastises and Jaebeom has the decency to look sheepish and give the doctor a grin that does things to Jinyoung. It doesn’t seem to affect the doctor as much as it affects Jinyoung, the doctor simply rolling her eyes at him before turning her attention back to Jinyoung.
“Since both of you are here, I’ll bring up something that I was thinking about. How would you both like to be rehabilitation buddies? Jinyoung’s due to start at the gym next week, and you Jaebeom-ssi apparently can’t be trusted to do your exercises without attempting weights. It’ll be good to have a companion in suffering while both of you work on your exercises.” She says candidly and Jinyoung pales at the insinuation.
Jaebeom catches his gaze and they both share a look of fear at Doctor Yu’s words but she doesn’t seem to be ruffled as she directs a bright smile at the both of them. They both involuntarily gulp but offer her a thin smile. It appears to appease her as she claps her hand and exclaims “It’s settled then!”
Jinyoung chances another glance at the other who is already staring at him. Before Jinyoung can say anything the other mouths a ‘We’re fucked.’ Jinyoung has to stifle his laugher when Doctor Yu turns his attention to the other and Jaebeom’s expression morphs back into an innocent one as he listens to her chastisement about over-doing it and ignoring her instructions. And how it would lead to disastrous consequences of him becoming a grandpa 40 years earlier and without any grandkids to show for it.
Jinyoung finds himself looking forward to next week, even with the promise of pain and suffering hanging over him. After all, he’ll have Jaebeom to suffer with and maybe just maybe they’ll hum the “We’re all in this together” line from High School Musical together. Though, Jinyoung has to admit that Dr Yu was right. Jaebeom is indeed all sharp edges and if he's feeling charitable, better looking than he is.
For once, Jinyoung doesn't really mind saying that. With time he'll grow to know that not only is Jaebeom beautiful on the outside, but he's also equally as beautiful on the inside. Despite that harsh rugged exterior, Jaebeom is possibly the kindest human that Jinyoung had the pleasure of meeting who teaches him that he's so much more than his appearances. Along the way, he likes to add that he'd taught Jaebeom a thing or two about not giving up on dreams. Together, they're a perfect match - like two pieces of a puzzle that fit together.