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Grinch is Better than Santa Anyway

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Not to offend anyone – Sehun swore he wasn’t being naughty so the fucking Santa Clause better not skip him this Christmas as the old, fat dude has always done up until then – but Sehun’s mother, with all due respect, was a Bitch. Sadly enough, he didn’t mean it only on the metaphorical plane of existence. Nope. She was a Bitch in each and every sense; she was the true essence of it. She was the embodiment of it. She was the Satan incarnation-

Okay, phew – deep breathe in and deep breathe out.

He could go on and on about it for days, but the bottom line was the fact that she was indeed, in lack of better adjectives, a Bitch.

Now, he wasn’t an ungrateful child (may her soul rot in hell) and he appreciated the fact that his mother was kind enough to support him financially – with the money she wrung out of his father when they got a divorce after she cheated on him and ruined their family forever – for his medical studies, but as far as gratitude was concerned, it didn’t extend any further than that. There was nothing else to be thankful for anyway.

Some people might judge him (how dare he speak of his mother like that) but those who have had the once-in-a-lifetime golden chance to meet the famous Oh Heejin – the best Cardiothoracic surgeon of her generation – won’t have too much trouble in agreeing with him.

Frankly speaking, Sehun wasn’t the one to hold grudges.

Really.

He was a pretty easy-going guy who hardly ever gave a fuck about anything. He didn’t give a damn about the fact that his mother, at the mere age of twenty, sweet-talked her way into marrying his very rich father who may not look like it, but was twice her age. He didn’t care about the fact that his mother only married his father for money and made him pay for her medical school bills. He didn’t care that he wasn’t born out of love; at least it wasn’t love from his mother’s side. He also didn’t care about the fact that his mother didn’t even want to have him in the very first place and nearly aborted him until his father finally put his foot down by threatening to not pay for her studies further.

The list goes on.

Sehun was about seven years old when she started an affair with someone in the hospital she worked in. His father despite knowing about it did nothing like a love-sick puppy he was. The little edge he had over his wife while he was paying for her med-school bills was all lost because Heejin was an independent surgeon by that time and earned enough to live a luxurious life on her own. She didn’t need them anymore; the fact that was only proven true when she up and left without a single word or explanation one day.

She didn’t forget about them though – she was too nice to do that – because she did send a gift for his father on the next Christmas.

It was the divorce papers.

Anyways, as it was the truth universally acknowledged (sorry Jane Austen) that Karma was a Bitch, it came to bite her in the ass. Sehun remembered feeling smug as hell when he got to know that the guy she eloped with left her for another woman – served her right – but that smugness didn’t last for long when she became obsessed over winning his custody and actually won it.

Till that day, he was confused about what the judge, who presided over his custody case, was actually high on, but then again his mother was all dark and twisted and she had her dark and twisted ways which in turn made Sehun all dark and twisted and really it was all a confusing cycle of dark and twisted – okay, he would stop using the words dark and twisted now.

The important thing was the fact that his mother estranged him so much that he couldn’t feel comfortable around his own father or the sweet little family he had. They tried to include Sehun – they did their best too – but he was too far gone already. His father still made efforts and he loved him for it, but the old man needed to realize that he was too dark and twisted.

Damn it! He used those words again.

Nonetheless, he didn’t mind staying alone. Whether it was the normal business days or holidays; they were all same to him. He didn’t mind that his mother sucked all sun shines, unicorns and rainbows out of him. He didn’t mind that the Santa Clause suddenly grew too fat to climb down his chimney when he moved away with her. Seriously. He didn’t care about any of those things one bit; except he did and he wished that the witch would rot in hell over and over again for it.

See! He truly wasn’t the one to hold any grudges.

An. Easy. Going. Guy.



It was the day – the D-day.

The day where Sehun would start his medical residency in the internationally renowned and most competitive postgraduate training program all across the country. He deserved it. After graduating from his M.D program at the very fucking top of his class (yeah, he was smart and awesome like that) from the top medical university he was the one who deserved it the most; more than anyone else. He may sound obnoxious, but it was the truth. His other classmates were idiots anyway…except for that Do Kyungsoo guy since he made it into the program as well and was standing in the same room as him.

BUT.

Other than him, Sehun didn’t see anyone else he recognized from his university which he was very thankful for. He had heard somewhere that the company he kept can have a great influence on him – he was living proof of his mother’s deranged ways – which meant that staying around idiots would make him one too. All those years of hard work shall never amount up to him turning into a low IQ idiot. He would never let that happen. Nope. He strongly refused.

Coming back, he was happy. Even his blackened soul was all bright and shiny and rainbows and unicorns and flowers and candies–

“You ready for it?” Okay. He took it back. He was still a pessimistic and asocial ass.

Groaning under his breath, Sehun listlessly turned his head to the side and eyed the guy standing next to him in utter disgust.

Don’t judge him. It was nothing personal, really. Byun Baekhyun was just all bright, friendly, and shiny. He was a contradiction to everything that Sehun was, but still somehow felt the need to stick by his side like a gum because for some reason he thought that Sehun’s resting bitch face was friendly.

The guy needed a fucking eye doctor and he should be absolutely banned from doing any sort of surgery in the OR lest he killed someone.

“I spent the past four years of my life waiting for this day,” Sehun responded with a sigh and faced the front again.

“It would be unreasonable if I wasn’t ready.” Honestly, he wanted to snap at the other male so that he would stay put instead of jumping around in his place like an overexcited puppy.

Puppy.

Yes, that was what defined his companion the best.

He wondered how he got into the program in the first place. Puppies did not belong in the hospital ORs.

“I know, but still!” Baekhyun exploded before latching onto his arm with a bright grin. Sehun’s left eye twitched in annoyance (Byun Baekhyun was cute and Sehun did not do well with cute) as he stared at the other guy – it was comical how short he was compared to him – with a raised brow before looking down at the hand wrapped around his arm.

“I am so nervous. What if one of the groups gets THE genius legend Kim Jongin as the mentor? I have heard that he is required to take up interns under his wing despite being an attendee already. I don’t really understand it, but then again I am not a genius who finished his medical school in two years and I am also not considered as one of the best Neuro-Surgeons at such a young age. Do you know he is only twenty-nine? That makes him only three years older than us. I don’t really know how things work for him-”

“I really hope it is not mine.”

“What?”

“I said I really hope he is not assigned to my group,” Sehun repeated under his breath which made Baekhyun face him with a cunning smirk.

You see, as much as Sehun would like to deny it, he had a history with Baekhyun. A very mortifying one at that. Don’t get it wrong. They were nothing more than just strangers. Sehun spent his whole life in Seoul and Baekhyun spent it in Busan. They lived in different cities and studied in different universities. They didn’t have any common friends or interests – lord help him if he ever had any common interests with a hyperactive puppy – and there was no reason for them to know each other. Seriously. Sehun didn’t make friends anyway. He liked to stay alone because he was dark and twisted like that.

How did he meet Baekhyun then?

It all happened on Christmas last year.

Sehun was drunk out of his mind, wobbling his way down the busy streets of Seoul, watching happy families celebrate while being stuck in the lone, miserable bubble of his own when he suddenly bumped into someone and fell. As luck would have it – take a note that his luck was never on his side – he ended up spraining his ankle and the guy he bumped into took him to the nearest hospital.

Yes, you have guessed it right.

That guy was Baekhyun who had smashed his ice cream cone against Sehun’s favorite jacket – who the hell ate ice cream when it was so damn cold – and the emergency room that he took Sehun to was the emergency room of the very hospital they were standing in. To add the cherry on top, the doctor on call that night was none other than Kim Jongin. As minutes passed by, drunk Sehun’s brain function impeded more and more. Things had turned from bad to worse and Sehun hoped that he would be able to forget all about the mortifying experience in that lifetime of his’.

 

“Okay, Sehun. You need to sit still or else you will make your injury worse. The doctor is just about to come.” Baekhyun had looked pretty pissed at him that time which only offended Sehun a lot because they had just met.

“How can your friends let you walk out like this while you are so drunk?”

“Look, Bacon-”

“It is Baekhyun!”

“Whatever, I don’t like Bacon anyway…I am team Chicken.”

“And I did not need that information.” His companion had grumbled under his breath before shifting in his place.

“I will go and see what is-” The curtain that was obscuring his bed from the eyes of the public was pushed aside before Baekhyun could go any further.

“What do we have here?” A ruggedly handsome doctor, looking just about their age, had stepped in with a nurse. He wasn’t even kidding. The first thing that his drunk brain had registered was how attractive the other male was and then there was this strong urge to just grab him by his collar and make-out because those lips looked very kissable or…it could be because a drunk Sehun was a very horny Sehun and to horny Sehun being thirsty for someone was equivalent to being in love.

You got the memo, right?

Whatever it was, he found the doctor hot and the worst thing about the whole situation had been the fact that the other wasn’t even putting any effort into it. He was wearing navy blue scrubs – that had been wrinkled – along with a white lab coat. There was a stethoscope hanging around his neck, some pens (or things that looked like pens) in his pocket, and the ID card that had been clipped to his collar, reading Kim Jongin.

Now that name had sounded vaguely familiar to his ears, but Sehun had been out of his senses so he hadn’t been able to point it out. At that moment, all he could focus on was this strong desire to run his fingers through Jongin’s raven messy locks because they had appeared so soft to the touch. However, he wouldn’t have mind forgoing it if the other male had somehow allowed him to trail his fingers along that sharp, magnificent jawline.

He was positive that it was glorious enough to give an Orthopedic Surgeon or maybe a Plastic Surgeon a boner. That glowing tanned complexion alone was-

“Mr. Oh, is it?” Sehun still remembered the way that sinfully deep voice has slowly dripped into his ears like sweet, sweet honey. It had been soothing almost to the point that he had to resist the strong urge to just close his eyes.

“Oh Sehun.” A pretty nurse, Park Sooyoung, immediately began while looking down at the clipboard in her hand when he didn’t give an answer.

“25 years old male. His friend brought him in-”

“He is not my friend.” Sehun cut off the nurse with a frown and attempted to stand up in his place, but Baekhyun had pushed him down with a nervous laugh. Now he knew it was because the other male had recognized THE Kim Jongin, but at that time he had been very confused.

“Please excuse him. He is very drunk at the moment.” The doctor – damn, he was hot especially with that stern look in his eyes – had eyed Sehun with pursed lips, looking as displeased as one person could, for a second or two before nodding his head and facing the nurse again.

“Listen!” Baekhyun had jeered the moment the doctor had diverted his attention.

“Do you know who that is? That is Kim freaking Jongin. The surgical extraordinaire. I don’t know about you, but I am in the last year of medical school and I am hoping to do my residency here. Do not fuck this up for me. I do not want to be remembered as a guy who brought in a drunk moron.”

“Hey! Who are you calling a drunk moron?” Drunk Sehun apparently had no idea when to keep his voice down or simply when to shut his trap up.

“Okay, Mr. Oh. Nurse Park here told me that you have a sprained ankle.” Dr. Kim had started while walking closer; most probably in hopes of garnering their attention especially after his little outburst.

“It seems like a sprained ankle.” Sehun had responded with a shrug of his shoulders.

“Confirming it is your job. Can you like do it fast? I am kind of in pain right now. I won’t mind if you can’t make it quick. You will get a pass since you are hot and all.” Baekhyun had promptly choked on his spit while muttering something along the lines of ‘my medical career is going to end even before it starts’ under his breath.

Sehun had conveniently decided to not pay him any attention.

In hindsight, maybe he shouldn’t have done that, but oh well…

“Do you have any history of past foot injuries?” Dr. Kim to his credit didn’t seem fazed at all. Nurse Park, on the other hand, was having a hard time keeping a straight face.

“Not any that I can think of right now. I am usually a very careful person so it isn’t very likely.”

“You got injured today.” Baekhyun grumpily pointed out while crossing his arms.

“Well, that is because the whole universe is out there to get me. I was watching all these disgustingly happy people celebrate Christmas with their families for a fake-ass fat man with a beard and then my witch of a mother is in the grave and she was all dark and twisted and now I am the same and-”

“Let’s fix your ankle, Mr. Oh.” Jongin cut in though this time there was an amused smile playing along his lips as he reached out to touch his foot.

“Right. Nobody ever likes to listen about my dark and twisted mother until I tell them she was the famous cardiothoracic surgeon Oh Heejin. Bacon you might be interested in it.” Sehun had turned to face Baekhyun; who had been looking at him with a gaping mouth.

“You are kidding, right?”

“No, my mother really was all dark and twisted. She was a tramp – sorry Santa Clause, I promise I am not being naughty – and married my father just for money.”

“Not that!” Baekhyun had hissed.

“Your mother is the great Oh Heejin.”

“She wasn’t all that great. I told you she was dark-”

“And twisted. We get it.” Dr. Kim had completed for him with an airy chuckle before exerting pressure on his ankle which had consequently made Sehun whimper like a baby.

“It is not anything serious. We can do an X-ray if you want, but there is really no need. You have just twisted your ankle in a very bad way. Nurse Park will compress the area so the swelling won’t spread and then she will give your foot an ice bath which might last for fifteen to twenty minutes. It will make the swelling go down.”

“I will trust you. You look like a nice doctor. Hot doctors are mostly-”

“Thanks a lot, Dr. Kim. I really appreciate your help.” Baekhyun had cut Sehun off in the middle.

“No problem.” Jongin had replied with a nod.

“I will come back to check on him after the ice bath, but you might want to buy ankle support till then from the hospital pharmacy. He will also need to ice the affected area every two to three hours and of course, he would need to rest his foot as much as he can until the swelling completely goes away.” Sehun had frowned upon hearing that. Why was everyone ignoring him? At least, Nurse Park wasn’t. She was just laughing at him which wasn’t exactly any better.

“I will make sure he takes good care of his ankle.”

“Okay, then. I will see you later-” Sehun still didn’t know what came over him – even drunk Sehun wasn’t supposed to have that kind of courage – when he had grabbed Dr. Kim’s collar before he could get up and had pulled him in for a filthy open-mouthed kiss which was entirely one-sided.

“Mmmh…thank you, Dr. Kim.” He had slurred with a drunken giggle after breaking the kiss.

“I think I am in love with you.” If what he said and did wasn’t bad enough, he had then – within a matter of seconds – conveniently passed out cold on the hospital bed in front of the hot doctor whom he had just kissed.

 

It was the worst day of Sehun’s life.

He didn’t even know how Dr. Kim reacted because he was drunk off his ass like a moron Baekhyun had called him back then, but from what he had heard from his companion that night, Kim Jongin had completely frozen once their lips have touched and he had looked positively flustered after Sehun’s drunk-self had passed out – again like a moron Baekhyun had called him. Oh, Dr. Kim had apparently also refused to utter a single word about it when he had rounded back to check on his swelling – he had been completely professional – but that wasn’t all that surprising.

“Do Kyungsoo, Kim Jongdae, Byun Baekhyun and Oh Sehun. Please step forward.” A nurse in light pink scrubs, Zhang Yixing, called out while looking down at the stack of papers in his hand. From what Sehun could make out from his ID, the other male was the head nurse of the hospital which was surprising because he looked pretty young. It wasn’t that shocking though. Seoul National Hospital was well-known for scoring all the young, genius people.

“Hello, I am the Head Nurse, Zhang Yixing. I look forward to working with you.” The Nurse introduced himself with a kind dimpled smile – Sehun did not do well with people that have kind dimpled smiles since they made him feel all gooey inside – once the four of them were standing in front of him.

“Likewise, Yixing!” Oh, great. So other than Baekhyun there was another bumbling sunshine in their group.

It was Kim Jongdae.

His day couldn’t get any better.

“You guys are assigned under Dr. Kim Jongin.” Sehun’s world skidded to a halt as soon as he heard that.

“He is an attendee already, but as you might know his case is a bit different from the rest of us. Please, be patient with him and work hard because as a mentor he has a lot to teach you and as an intern, you have a lot to learn. You guys should consider yourself lucky. Instead of a resident, you got yourself an attendee who is considered the best in what he does. Good luck!”

His day just fucking got better.


“Okay, Byun Baekhyun, this doesn’t make us friends, but on the scale from zero to ten how fucked do you think I am?” Sehun inquired as soon as the four of them were alone.

“I would say a solid eleven,” Baekhyun responded with a cackle.

“Why would you be fucked, Oh?” Kyungsoo, who was walking right behind them with Jongdae, questioned with furrowed brows.

“Because the universe hates me,” Sehun grumbled under his breath before pushing open the door to the common room 4 that was assigned to them. It was pretty spacious and held about four full-length lockers. There were two wooden benches placed in the middle of the metal compartments. Beyond the little cabin that lockers formed on their own, there was a whole room. Two bunk beds were pushed against the adjacent walls. There were also two large, pristine white study tables with four colorful chairs placed smack in the middle of the room, and then there was one black door which most probably led to the bathroom.

At least their common room was nice and centrally air-conditioned or heated.

Perks of joining the top program.

“Nurse Zhang said that our attendee is supposed to have the keys for this room so that we could lock it when no one is there.” Jongdae supplied while pulling open the first locker which had his name on it.

“Oh, and of course, our scrubs are in the lockers already.”  Baekhyun and Kyungsoo moved towards their own lockers upon hearing that while Sehun sat on one of the benches questioning his life choices.

“Seriously, Sehun. What is wrong with you?” Kyungsoo questioned again. They weren’t exactly friends in the University, but Sehun had spent two or more study sessions with the other guy and he had liked him well enough. Kyungsoo wasn’t annoying or pestering like those other people and not once did he ever try to talk about Oh Heejin with him – which earned him brownie points – which meant that he was likable. Well as likable as one person could get in his case.

Besides that, he has a strong feeling that like him Kyungsoo was sort of fucked up too.

“You really don’t want to know.” He gave in at last and ruffled his hair in frustration.

“It can’t be that bad.” Jongdae, that kind soul, consoled which only made Sehun slump further. The four of them were going to be stuck together for the next seven years at least – if they survived the completion till the end – so there was no point in hiding. The truth would come out eventually and even if there weren’t any rules in the hospital against mentor-student relationships he still didn’t want his group mates – he didn’t give a fuck about others – to think that he was sleeping with their attendee to get favors simply because that was not the truth.

There would never be a relationship anyway.

Oh Sehun didn’t do relationships.

“Last year, two horrible things happened to me on Christmas.” Sehun started before holding up a finger.

“One, I met Byun Baekhyun.”

“Hey!”

“Two, Byun Baekhyun brought me to the emergency room of this hospital and Dr. Kim Jongin attended to me.”

“That doesn’t sound that bad,” Jongdae noted with a confused frown. Kyungsoo ticked a brow at him too whereas Baekhyun only laughed his ass off.

“Just wait, it gets better.” Throwing the obnoxious male a glare, Sehun faced Kyungsoo because somehow his blank face calmed him down.

“I was drunk out of my mind and when I am drunk out of my mind I am horny and when I am horny I make passes at hot men because I am very gay.”

“Oh, Lord.” Looking at Kyungsoo was no longer comforting because it seemed like he already had an idea about what went down and was critically judging Sehun and his life choices at that moment; he couldn’t really be blamed.

Sehun was questioning his life choices too.

“You didn’t…” Jongdae trailed off with a cautious expression.

“I did. I freaking grabbed him by the collar and kissed him. I called him hot and declared my undying love for him before passing out like a fucking moron. Also, I told him about my mother and called her names, and oh Lord! I am so freaking screwed.”

“Shit.” That was the only consolation that came from Kyungsoo. Sehun appreciated the brevity of it.

“Well,” Jongdae started after a moment of silent contemplation.

“You better get changed into your scrubs before he comes knocking on our door then. You don’t want to piss him off further and besides, maybe he has forgotten all about it. It’s been almost a year.” Sehun hated people like Jongdae. They were so full of hope all the time.

He didn’t do so well with hope.


“Okay, interns! Gather around the table.” Sehun’s soul almost transcended when the door of their common room was suddenly thrown open; admittedly with a lot more force than needed because it banged against the wall behind it, creating a sound that pounded against his temples.

“The hell!” Kyungsoo hissed under his breath with a frown – he did not look happy at all and Sehun was sure if it wasn’t for the fact that Jongin was their mentor, the other male would have gotten an earful from his classmate – before slamming his locker shut and walking away.

Sehun stalled for a second or two longer, trying to steel his nerves, but eventually followed his group mates to the tables placed in the middle of the room. His heart jumped to his throat the moment he caught sight of Jongin.

He didn’t look any different than he did a year ago; it was the same hair (though they appeared a bit longer), the same features (those droopy eyes, those plump lips, and that sharp jaw!), the same broad shoulders and chest, the same narrow waist, the same mile-long legs, the same exquisite complexion and it was that same deep, honey voice that affected even his sober senses. Jongin was wearing the same navy blue scrubs and the same lab coat. The stethoscope was still wrapped around his neck and just like the last time, there were pens tucked in the breast pocket of the coat.

Dr. Kim did appear the same, but there were some subtle differences as well. If he wasn’t recalling it incorrectly (he had been drunk back then after all) then the small black hoop on Jongin’s left ear was new. The thin silver chain that accentuated his broad shoulders at that moment wasn’t present there back then too. His ID card, instead of the collar, this time was clipped against the pocket and if his eyes weren’t betraying him then there was some sort of a black tattoo that ran up his forearm that he totally missed a year ago.

Sehun couldn’t be too sure about that one because he needed a closer look at it to confirm his suspicions which he was sure Jongin wasn’t about to let him do, especially after what happened between them last time. It really was the worst-case scenario and one of his nastiest nightmares. He couldn’t believe that he was currently living in it. He couldn’t believe that there was nothing that he could do to save himself or his medical career because Dr. Kim for sure was not going to forgive him for the harassment.

 

“Let’s see…” Jongin began without sparing a single glance in their direction because he was a lot more interested in the documents that were in his hands.

Sehun was thankful for it.

“Kim Jongdae, step forward.” Jongdae did as he was told and bowed slightly in respect. It was another thing that their mentor still didn’t bother to glance in his direction.

“Daegu School of Medical Sciences. Graduated with the second-highest score in the board examinations. Impressive.” Dr. Kim finally looked up from the papers though despite his words he didn’t seem impressed at all.

“We will see how well you work in the OR.” It almost sounded like a threat which was ridiculous because he couldn’t think of one reason why Jongin would want to threaten them.

“Of course, Sir,” Jongdae responded politely, but there was still no missing the way he wrinkled his forehead in confusion.

“Byun Baekhyun.” Their mentor called out next while casually flipping to the next page of the document.

“Busan Medical University. Held the fourth-highest score in the board exams. Graduated at the top of your class and my old mentor Dr. Jung apparently recommended you.” Jongin tipped his head up at that and carefully took in Baekhyun’s appearance.

Sehun held his breath in apprehension.

Did Dr. Kim recognize Baekhyun?

There was nothing on his face that would suggest it, but there was also nothing on his face that would suggest otherwise also.

He was ready to pull his hair out in frustration.

“Dr. Jung is a very capable teacher. I would like to test what you learned from him.” It was scary how there was absolutely no expression on Jongin’s face.

“I-I will do my best, Dr. Kim.” Baekhyun stuttered out with a nervous smile while stealing a glance at Sehun; who was growing paler by each passing second.

“Oh Sehun.” The said intern went stiff in his place the instance he heard his name.

“Seoul National University. The top medical institute, huh?” Sehun kept mum and prayed to all the deities out there that Dr. Kim wouldn’t lift his eyes up from the file.

“Ah- so you are the one who topped the medical board examination. Interesting. I have so many toppers under my wing.” There was a subtle smirk lining Jongin’s lips – as if there was something extremely entertaining going on – before he finally looked up.

Sehun stopped breathing as soon as their eyes met.

Literally, the world around him came to a stop. Nothing else mattered other than the certain glint that was present in Jongin’s eyes…which, sadly, he wasn’t able to decipher. Also, maybe he was being paranoid, but the size of the smirk on the other male’s lips increased as well.

“It should be really interesting.” His mentor continued nonchalantly; all the while looking him straight in the eye. It was almost as if he was somehow trying to convey him the message of his doom, but it was also possible that Sehun was being a drama queen and looking too much into it. Whatever it was, he just wished that Dr. Kim would stop staring at him. It was putting him on edge and was giving him anxiety. The smirk that was so kindly directed in his direction was making everything worst. He didn’t get what was so interesting about the whole situation. In his opinion, it was an utter disaster.

“Do Kyungsoo.” A discreet sigh of relief left Sehun’s lips as soon as Jongin moved his gaze away from him.

However, another worry started to gnaw at his mind right away. Did Dr. Kim identify him as the drunk moron who harassed him a year ago or was he safe? He didn’t know what that smirk meant. Was it a sign that he knew who Sehun was or was it meant to show that Jongin was just a stuck-up, proud mentor who was going to take pleasure in making their lives a living hell?

Sehun didn’t like either of the options.

“Seoul National University. You were placed third in the board examinations. I can’t believe they gave me all the toppers. The residents must be fuming right now.” None of them knew what to say (was there even an appropriate response to that?) so they decided to remain silent.

Dr. Kim was an enigma.

They didn’t know what to make out of his personality which meant that it was safer to keep quiet.

“Anyway, I won’t bother to introduce myself. I bet you all know me already – some more than others,” Sehun bit down on his bottom lip and resisted the very prevalent urge that incited him to run out of the room. Jongin recognized him. He had no doubt in it. There was no other explanation. His mentor wouldn’t be looking at him pointedly – damn that stupid smirk – at the moment if he didn’t.

“And if you don’t know me…well, you will eventually.” Dr. Kim spoke up after a moment of brief silence – the tension in the room was so thick that at some point it became hard to breathe – before carelessly discarding the file he was previously reading on the table.

“That box,” He pointed towards the black, square container that wasn’t there when they first entered the room.

“It has the trauma protocol, pagers, phone lists, EHRs, and all the other necessary stuff that you would be needing. So grab one each. Also, your first shift here today would be of forty-eight hours. Be ready for it both mentally and physically.” There was a minute’s pause in the conversation as Jongin waited for them to do what he has instructed them to. His intense gaze practically burned into their skins as he wordlessly observed every little move they made. Sehun made sure to keep his eyes trained down and maintain as much distance as he could from the other male. He has messed up enough. He didn’t need any more trouble.

“Now,” Jongin started again and crossed his arms.

“Since we are done with the formalities let’s get down to the important stuff.” For some reason, their mentor appeared even more intimidating than before. The subtle smirk that has been directed at them all this time was gone. It virtually seemed like they were being toyed with from the very beginning and the real deal was just about to commence.

“A month ago you were in med-school being taught by doctors. Today, you are the doctors. The seven years you will spend here as a surgical resident would be the worst and best of your life. You will be tested, provoked, and pushed to your breaking point. You have met the other interns earlier. They are your competition. This program is your battlefield. How well you play here decides your future and whether all your previous hard work was just a fluke or something worth it.” Jongin broke off to eye them one by one. To Sehun, it appeared as if the other male was trying to decide how long it will take the four of them to quit the program; as if he had no faith in them as if they were hopeless. He was not convinced at all which, to be honest, was rather offending and quite annoying too.

He hasn’t worked his ass off all these years just so some privileged jerk could look down on him.

“You are the interns.” Their mentor continued listlessly.

“The nobodies. You are at the bottom of the surgical food chain. You will run labs, write orders, discharges, update EHRs and grab coffees for your seniors or do their laundry. I don’t care.” Sehun truly wanted to punch the arrogant prick in the face and break his magnificent jaw.

“What I do care about is the fact that you do your job properly. You work every second until you can’t anymore. The most important thing is that you do not complain. I don’t like whiny brats.” Kyungsoo scoffed under his breath pretty loudly upon hearing that. Sehun couldn’t help himself when he did the same. It was just so damn irritating, the way they were being treated.

Jongin, much to Baekhyun’s and Jongdae’s relief – they were looking at Sehun and Kyungsoo with their eyes wide in horror – didn’t appear fazed at all.

“Are we on the same page till now, interns?” They were being mocked; they were definitely being mocked.

“Yes, Dr. Kim.” They chorused weakly.

“Great. Let’s move on to the rules, shall we?” It wasn’t really a question because Dr. Kim plowed on without waiting for an answer.

“I won’t repeat myself so listen carefully. There are five rules. One, don’t bother sucking up to me. I already hate you and that is not going to change.” Sehun rolled his eyes. Who did this Kim Jongin think he was?

“Two, answer every page on a run. Three, during on-calls, if there is an emergency and I am sleeping, wake me up. Four, the patient better not be dead when I get there, or else one of you will join them. Lastly, when I ask to move you move. Any confusions?”

“No, Dr. Kim!”

The blaring noise of their pagers going off filled the room almost right away.

“Well…” Jongin prompted with a ticked brow when none of them moved.

“Your pager is going off, interns. You forgot rule number two so soon?” That seemed to have knocked sense into their brains because all four of them clumsily scrambled to run out of the door at the same time.

Damn Dr. Kim for being so freaking scary.

“Did you guys learn anything in the medical school?” Their mentor demanded with an irritated scowl.

“Where is your discipline?”

“S-Sorry, Dr. Kim.” Baekhyun apologized with an embarrassed flush.

“Just follow me.”


“What do we have?” Jongin inquired calmly as soon as the doors of the ambulance were thrown open.

“Lee Munhee, 18 years old female.” A female paramedic replied instantly.

“New-onset seizures intermittent for the past week. IV lost en route. She started seizing before we reached here.”

“Do we know the cause yet?”

“No.” Sehun frowned at that. He couldn’t believe that she was having seizures for the past week and no one bothered to bring her to the hospital till then.

“Okay, wheel her in,” Jongin instructed before turning towards his interns. He wasn’t exactly happy with the situation (just like Sehun) if the furrow between his brows was to tell something.

“This is your first patient. I hope you guys know how to treat seizures.” He expounded gruffly before walking inside the ER and beckoning them with a hand. Sighing, Sehun curbed the urge to roll his eyes (of course, they knew how to treat seizures) and followed him in. He could get annoyed later. Right now they had a patient.

The loud, rapid beeping of the heart monitor greeted his ears the moment he entered the station Munhee was wheeled to.

“Her BP is out of control. She will have a stroke soon if we don’t regulate it.” Their mentor informed before turning towards Jongdae and Kyungsoo.

“You two carefully get her on the side.” Next, he faced Sehun.

“Prepare an IV line with a large bore.” Finally, he gestured for Baekhyun to come closer.

“Administer 10mg Diazepam IM. Don’t let the blood hemolyze. Be quick!” Sehun made quick work of preparing the IV line and inserted it into the patient’s vein as swiftly as he could without making any mistakes. Baekhyun, who was ready with the syringe next to him, injected the Diazepam into the administration port.

A sigh of relief left their lips when the abnormally fast beeping gradually slowed down to a somewhat normal pace.

“The patient’s stable, Dr. Kim.” The nurse who was keeping an eye on the monitor all this time informed.

“Good.” Jongin nodded his head satisfied, before facing the interns.

“We don’t know the cause of the seizures.” He repeated what the paramedic has said before and pointed towards Jongdae.

“You tell me. What should be our course of action now?”

“CT scan, CBC, Chem-7, and Tox. Screen. I think we should run all sorts of textbook tests to be on the safer side.”

“Alright then. Tell the nurse to take her blood samples. You will handle the lab works of the patients, Dr. Kim.”

“Yes, Sir.”

“Byun, you will handle the patient work-ups today. Keep in mind there are all sorts of patients that are about to go into surgery. A mistake won’t just get you in trouble with me, but other attendees as well.”

“Yes, Dr. Kim.”

“Our scoffer here will be doing the rectal exams today.” Jongin turned to face Kyungsoo with a mock smile. Sehun tried his best not to grimace. Being assigned to take care of other people’s shit and anus was the last thing he wanted to do on his first day of residency.

“Is it okay with you, Dr. Do?”

“Of course, Dr. Kim,” Kyungsoo replied with a painful smile.

“Lastly, our other scoffer here will be shadowing me and doing most of the paperwork.” Sehun bit his tongue to stop the groan that almost left his lips. He couldn’t believe he was doing the paperwork. Kyungsoo’s rectal exams were better than that because at least he was doing something whereas Sehun was still stuck with the theory as if he was still a med-school student.

Dr. Kim, for sure, held grudges.

“Yes, Dr. Kim.”

“Okay then. Move along all of you…” Jongin trailed off in the middle of his sentence when his pager bleeped.

“That’s a call from the Chief. Remember my rules and don’t create any trouble.” Sehun opened his mouth to ask what he was supposed to do – since Jongin was going to the Chief – but before he could the other male turned to face him.

“Dr. Oh, you will be taking Munhee for a CT scan for me. Make it as quick as possible.”

...............

“I can’t believe he put me on the rectal exams.” Kyungsoo exploded the second Jongin was out of the Emergency room.

“It is better than the paperwork,” Sehun grumbled while glaring in the direction their mentor disappeared in.

“Who told you to scoff at his face?” Baekhyun butted in with a scowl.

“You guys could have gotten all of us in trouble.”

“Am I supposed to run labs all day?” Jongdae questioned with a sigh before either Sehun or Kyungsoo could respond.

“Aren’t we supposed to be surgical interns?”

“He is such a proud prick,” Kyungsoo complained before snatching up some gloves and masks.

“Meet you at lunch. I have to see some assholes, now.” Sehun, Baekhyun, and Jongdae, despite feeling bad for their groupmate couldn’t stop the laugh that bubbled past their lips.


“God! I am so freaking tired.” Baekhyun groaned as he dropped in the seat next to Jongdae.

“At least you were doing something.” Sehun pointed out sourly and bit into his burger.

“I had to run labs the whole day. Trust me, it wasn’t any better. At one point, I asked the nurses to let me take the blood samples just so I would have something to do.” Jongdae slumped in his seat with a grunt.

“Speaking of which…what is wrong with that patient in the morning?” Baekhyun asked before alternatively looking between Sehun and Jongdae.

“Her CT scan came out clean,” Sehun revealed with the shrug of his shoulders.

“Her labs were clear too.” Jongdae contributed with pursed lips.

“There was nothing in the results that explained her seizures.”

“That is weird,” Baekhyun concluded with a wrinkled nose.

“What did Dr. Kim say?”

“He asked me to leave the CT with him since he was a little busy.” Sehun provided before wiping the corner of his mouth with a napkin.

“He had two surgeries scheduled before lunch. One was for coil embolization and the other one was for spinal fusion. He didn’t allow me to scrub in, but I got to watch the whole procedure from the galley for the first one. Come to think of it, he has the finest and neatest hands I have ever seen in the surgery. No wonder he is so conceited. He has a damn good reason to be.” Jongdae slumped further in his seat with a whine.

“I can’t believe you got to see those while I was stuck with labs. I have always wanted to see the legendry Kim Jongin in action.”

“Why didn’t you watch the second one?” Baekhyun implored while biting into his own burger.

“Apparently Munhee is my patient now. I am assigned to her room. Dr. Kim asked me to keep an eye on her-”

“I am going to murder that guy.” Kyungsoo abruptly joined in their conversation and unceremoniously threw his body down in the chair beside Baekhyun.

“Are you not going to eat?” Sehun questioned when he noticed the lack of food in his hands.

“You try to eat after doing seventeen rectal exams.” Kyungsoo fumed while massaging his temples.

“I was surrounded by assholes and shit the whole day. I smell like poop even after taking a shower. I hate that guy with everything I have.”

“You brought this upon yourself.” Baekhyun pointed out and raised his hands in mock surrender when Kyungsoo turned to glare at him.

“I am sorry I can’t suck up to assholes like him.”

“I second that,” Sehun agreed with a frown.

“Jongin is a genius. I am not denying that, but the way he was looking down on us in the morning was offending.”

“Residents are worst.” Jongdae insisted with the shake of his head.

“Jongin will allow us to assist in surgeries as much as we want once he has enough trust in us because he is an attendee already. Residents, on the other hand, don’t give much of a chance to the interns since they are still in the competition themselves. They need all those surgeries. The exposure for interns like us is very minimum.”

“Does that mean I can’t murder him?” Kyungsoo sulked with a sniff.

“Sadly, not yet.”

..................

“What happened?” Sehun demanded while trying to control his breathing, before rushing towards Munhee’s bed. He was with his friends (?) having lunch when his pager has gone off. Without missing a beat he has, a bit regretfully, handed his half-eaten burger to Kyungsoo before running out of the cafeteria as fast as he could. The elevator has been busy so Sehun had to climb the stairs all the way up to the fourth floor from the first.

“She started seizing up all of a sudden.” The nurse informed before looking up at him for instructions.

“We administered 2mg of Lorazepam to her IV line and later when her condition continued to worsen we gave her the second dose.”

“Okay,” Sehun nodded his head while processing all the details. The loud beeping of the monitor was making it hard for him to think. He was freaking panicking. This was his first-ever patient and he couldn’t think straight.

“That makes it 4mg of Lorazepam and it is not working.”

“Dr. Oh, we need to do something fast.” The other nurse urged.

“Phenobarbital. Load her with it! Someone page Dr. Kim Jongin too.”

“Right away.”

“Flatline!” The nurse monitoring the heart monitor called out.

“Her heart stopped. It is Code Blue.” Cursing under his breath, Sehun cast a look at the flat line on the monitor.

“Bring me the pads!”

“Here it is Doctor.” Taking the pads from the nurse, he looked down at Munhee.

“Charge it to 200.” The tech. nodded his head and turned the dial.

“Charge.”

“Clear.” Sehun brought the pads down to her chest and bit his bottom lip when her body jolted under the impact, but otherwise, the flat line on the monitor remained firm.

“Still v-fib. Nothing.” The nurse at the monitor announced.

“Okay, make it 300 this time.” They repeated the process but nothing changed.

Sweat trickled down the side of Sehun’s face.

He was not going to let his first patient die.

“Turn the dial up to 360.”

“Dr. Oh, that is very risky.” The nurse cautioned, but he was having none of it.

“I know what I am doing. Be quick!”

“Turning it up to 360. Charge.”

“Clear.” Sehun declared before bringing down the pads again. His eyes immediately went up to the monitor when it started beeping again.

“She is back.” His words came out as a relieved whisper.

“The pressure’s returning. The rate is coming back.” The nurse at the monitor announced just in time Jongin entered the room.

“She is having seizures,” Sehun informed him right away.

“Seizures?” His mentor repeated with a creased forehead.

“How can she have seizures? You were supposed to monitor her.”

“I did just twenty minutes ago.”

“She was code blue before I came in, wasn’t she?” Jongin noted with a locked jaw.

“She was, but-”

“She wouldn’t have been if you weren’t seven minutes late to answer your page!” Sehun flinched in his place.

“The elevator was busy.” He defended himself.

“I had to climb the stairs from the cafeteria.”

“Just go.” His mentor ordered with a glare while walking closer towards the bed.

“I will talk to you later about this. For now, order an MRI for her.” There was this strong urge to just scream at Jongin because he was blaming him for something that was not even in his control, but Sehun swallowed all his complaints and walked out of the room.

“Fuck him!”


“How was that my fault?” Sehun finished off his rant with a huff and pulled his jacket closer to his body. They have just finished their first-ever shift and were leaving the hospital together.

“It wasn’t your fault, but he was right as well, Sehun. It was an emergency and being seven minutes late could have cost you her life.” Jongdae reasoned with a wince.

“Let’s just consider it a stroke of bad luck. Don’t think too much about it. Surgery is hardcore. You need to learn how to let go of things or else you won’t be able to survive.”

“Besides that, Jongin didn’t even scold you for it afterward,” Baekhyun noted.

“It means that he must have realized that you couldn’t have controlled it. Just let it be, okay?” Sehun nodded his head with a sigh.

“Look at the brighter side,” Kyungsoo appealed apathetically.

“You saved a human life. Isn’t that what we are here for?”

“Maybe you are right.” Sehun gave in with a small smile.

“I am right. There is no need to tack in that ‘maybe’.” Kyungsoo argued before letting out a yawn.

“I can’t wait to sleep.”

“You are so lucky that you live here. I have to pick my stuff up from my friend’s house, find some hotel, and check-in before even thinking of resting.” Baekhyun whined before dramatically throwing all his weight on Sehun; who tried his best to shuck him off but gave up in the end when it didn’t seem to work.

“Ah- I am living in the hotel too.” Jongdae disclosed before tiredly rubbing the back of his neck.

“I need to find someplace soon. The hotel is way too expensive.”

“Same.” Baekhyun drawled with a despondent sigh.

“I need to find a place as well.” Surprisingly, Kyungsoo took part in their lamentation.

“Why do you need a place?” Sehun questioned before cocking his head to the side.

“You are from Seoul.”

“I have been living with my brother all this time, but he is getting married now and I do not want to get in his way which is why I am looking for some new place.”

“Well…” Sehun started after a long, silent moment of contemplation. He might regret it later on, but it could also be the change that he needed in his life. Having some nice people around him just might be the thing that would keep his mother’s demons at bay.

“You guys can live with me.”

“What?” Baekhyun turned to face him with a confused expression.

“Won’t your family mind?” Swallowing the lump that was starting to rise in his throat, Sehun lightly kicked the stone that was in his way and shook his head.

“I live alone.” He was lonely.

“My father has a family of his own and my mother died last year. She left me with this big house. I have three free rooms which were for guests. I was initially planning on getting some roommates, anyway. You guys can have it. I will adjust the rent for you.”

“I don’t know Sehun…” Jongdae reckoned with an uncertain smile.

“Will that really be okay? I have a budget.”

“It will be. Don’t worry. You can pay me as much as you want. Plus, trust me, you won’t find a better place than mine. It is only at the five minutes ride from the hospital. Has a huge market nearby. It is nearly in the center of the city, but since the neighborhood is protected the streets are peaceful. My house has a swimming pool and other cool stuff too which you guys can freely use. We can study together and save commute expenses this way too since we will be able to carpool. Come on! Think of it.” Sehun didn’t know what actually came over him. He didn’t know why he was so desperate.

It must be the lack of sleep.

“If you put it like that…” Kyungsoo mused out loud in a contemplative manner.

“I am in, but since you are cutting down on the rent I can cook for us. I enjoy cooking a lot.”

“Deal!” Sehun approved right away.

“I can’t cook to save my life. It would be nice to eat a home-cooked meal.”

“Ah! Kyungsoo is such a wife.” Baekhyun remarked with a cackle and shied away from them with an ear-splitting shriek when Kyungsoo aimed a punch at him.

“I am in too and since you are cutting down on the rent…I can pay for the petrol expenses of the car which we will use for the commute.” That was reasonable enough so Sehun nodded his head in affirmation.

“Jongdae?”

“I wouldn’t want to miss out on all the fun you guys will have together.” Jongdae shrugged his shoulders with a cheeky grin.

“I can do the laundry every week on Saturday and we can all work together to clean the house on Sunday that way the place will remain livable. I can’t stand dirty places.”

“We can take turns doing dishes too,” Kyungsoo added in helpfully.

“Alright, then! Will you guys like a ride home?”


Jongin wasn’t as bad as they initially thought him to be.

Nope.

He was fucking awful.

It has been a week.

A week!

It was a long time in Sehun’s opinion, but still, none of them were allowed to scrub in on any of his surgeries, or as a matter of fact, they weren’t allowed to scrub in on the surgeries of the other attendees as well. Their group was avoided like a plague – he had a suspicion that Dr. Kim has something to do with it – and it was getting pretty annoying because Sehun has seen a few of the interns from the other groups joining in on some really interesting cases in the OR which he would have loved to join if their mentor wasn’t so freaking stuck-up.

“Guys, be patient.”

Jongdae, the ever kind soul, had tried to knock some sense into their agitated brains by explaining that Jongin’s method was much better than the others because he was slowly and gradually lowering them into the simmering pan, i.e. the OR, instead of just throwing them in straight like headless chickens. Maybe he was right too because their mentor was genuinely teaching them. As much as he didn’t want to admit it, the fact remained that in the course of the past week what Sehun had learned from Dr. Kim was something that he hadn’t managed to learn in the four years of medical school.

Besides, it wasn’t like Jongin didn’t let them do anything. Along with the meager jobs, they were assigned patients (with high merit cases) to monitor, and no matter how hard he tried to deny, it was another kind of learning altogether. Sehun was sure that the other interns weren’t getting the type of exposure that their group was getting. They were tested quite thoroughly and were given a chance to convey their opinions, regarding complicated cases, which were actually taken under consideration instead of just being ignored.

One would think that a genius doctor like Jongin would not even bat an eye in their direction while they were speaking, but he listened and evaluated them critically. His way of praising (if there was one) wasn’t quite commendable, but he did point out their mistakes gently – instead of just censuring them like residents would have – and even guided them through it until they reached a correct treatment or diagnosis. Yeah, he was sarcastic and scary as hell when he did that, but by that point, they have made peace with those traits of his.

Jongin also frequently assigned them to the emergency ward which surprisingly was proving to be very beneficial. Not only it helped them build their confidence in their own skills, but also made them an efficient decision-maker. Dealing with the emergency helped them overcome the initial panic – which Sehun was thankful for because he did not want to panic while his patients were losing their lifeline – that consumed them every time they were hit with something unexpected and also made them a quick thinker.

Dr. Kim forced them to recall and use what they learned from the textbooks (it also made them realize their shortcomings) in medical school and really, it was remarkable; not to forget a sign of an extremely great mentor as well.

Another advantage of Jongin’s method was the fact that they actually had time on their hands to study for most of the surgeries that were scheduled to be conducted in the OR and gave them an opportunity to observe them from the galley. Once again, he didn’t want to admit it, but Sehun was positive that none of the other interns were getting that type of exposure.

So…okay, maybe Dr. Kim wasn’t that awful and maybe he should appreciate his mentor more. After all, he was learning how to be practical and professional (the knowledge and experience of which he had lacked) from THE best, but not being able to scrub in was still annoying.

 

“Hey, Jongin.” Sehun, who was standing at the nursing station writing orders, turned around in his place when he heard Head Nurse Zhang’s gentle voice greeting his mentor.

“Hello, Yixing.” Jongin greeted back with a charming smile –which, mind you, he never directed at them – before making his way towards the patient on bed number 12; which, honestly, confused Sehun a bit because the old lady there wasn’t even his attendee’s patient.

Handing over the written orders to the nurse in front of him, the intern gave out a courteous smile and focused his whole attention on Dr. Kim as he went about the process of checking on Mrs. Han; the kind, old lady that was brought in there after surgery yesterday.

Jongin truly was something else.

That wasn’t the first time Sehun was noticing that.

The calm demeanor and the distinctive insight that he has, his novel perceptions, broad-mindedness, the ability to think fast and out of the box without panicking in the face of emergency along with the depth of his thoughts and actions; those were all the things that made him what he was.

The genius surgery extraordinaire.

In addition to that, Dr. Kim oozed authority.

He was a force to be reckoned with and owned every inch of ground that he walked on. His personality, confidence, and charisma emanated off him like a cologne and effortlessly grabbed everyone’s attention in a way that was natural. The fact that he was the son of the chairwoman of the Seoul National Hospital and University was another thing altogether. Also, add to that his brothers Kim Junmyeon – the chief of Surgery of their hospital – and Kim Minseok – the famously renowned Orthopedic Surgeon – and you would get someone vaguely similar like Kim Jongin.

“Well…someone is in trouble,” Sehun mumbled under his breath just in time his mentor spoke up.

“Who is the intern assigned to this patient?” The nurse nearby immediately made her way towards the doctor.

“Mrs. Han was brought in here after surgery yesterday and since then she has been under the care of Dr. Lee Sungha.”

“Where is Dr. Lee then?” Jongin inquired with a tick of his brow and pursed his lips in displeasure when a petite, pretty female hastily made her way towards him.

“Good morning, Dr. Kim.” Sehun almost scoffed at the coy smile on his fellow intern’s lips.

“Dr. Lee, did you thoroughly checked Mrs. Han when she was brought in?”

“Yes, Dr. Kim.”

“What were her symptoms?”

“Shortness of breath and a fever, Sir.” Dr. Lee was beginning to look a bit nervous now.

“I am sure you have run an ABG test and have gotten her chest films then.” Jongin guessed sagely while glaring at the intern with stern eyes.

“Can I have those please?”

“I-I didn’t run those, Dr. K-Kim.” Sehun shook his head in disappointment. Last night, he had been kind enough to point out to Sungha that she was being careless towards Mrs. Han, but she had shut him down by calling him a ‘nurse’ (she called him a freaking nurse) and had told him to mind his own business. She was rather rude about it too which was why he wasn’t really feeling sorry for her at that moment.

Idiots deserved to get scolded anyway.

“Why not, Dr. Lee?”

“She was brought in almost towards the end of my shift and I-”

“That is not an excuse!” His mentor’s voice was still calm, but the intensity behind his words made everyone in the ward flinch.

“On what basis did you diagnose her with Pneumonia?”

“She had a fever and shortness of breath.” Sungha tried to defend herself.

“Those are the common symptoms...”

“Tell me, Dr. Lee.” Jongin began with a locked jaw.

“What are the common causes of post-operation fever?” Dead silence followed his question as everyone looked at the intern with expectant eyes though they soon moved on when she lowered her gaze in shame and continued to remain mum.

“Is there any intern in this ward who can answer my question?” Dr. Kim implored evenly, not looking pleased at all. The impact of his words was instantaneous. All the interns in the ward scrambled to pull out their pads. It was almost amusing to watch and Sehun would have snickered at it too if Jongin hadn’t disrupted the sudden commotion again.

“I need the answer from your heads. Not your notebooks. Go back to medical school if you want to do that. Put those things out of my sight!” Eyeing everyone in irritation, the attendee crossed his arms.

Now, does anyone have an answer for me?” Sehun straightened up from where he was leaning against the counter and looked around to see if there was someone who wanted to answer. Noting that there was none, he heaved a sigh and turned towards his mentor.

“Wind, water, wound, walking, and the wonder drugs. The five W’s.” It was kind of unnerving how all the attention suddenly shifted towards him.

“Most of the time it is also Pneumonia or splinting; the first one is easy to assume especially if you are too busy to run tests.” Sehun decided that there was no harm in making an indirect jab at the snobby intern who was more interested in flirting with her attendee than worrying about her patients.

She was annoying and he did not do well with annoying people.

“What do you think is wrong with 12-B then, Dr. Oh?” Jongin finally seemed a bit appeased. The collective sigh of relief that the whole ward released, almost immediately, was comical.

“It is the fourth W – the walking. I think that she has a pulmonary embolus.” Sehun was kind of feeling proud of himself at the moment; especially when he noticed the glint of appreciation in his mentor’s usually aloof eyes. However, he felt a bit weird too. It was odd how easily the answers came to him and how confident he was about his diagnosis.

“Good.” Jongin approved before continuing.

“How do you diagnose it?”

Good.

Good?

Good!

Sehun stared at the other male with wide eyes.

Did Dr. Kim just praise him in front of everyone?

He wasn’t hallucinating, right?

“Dr. Oh?”

“We should…d-do a Spiral CT and VIQ scan. Provide her O2 and dose her with heparin. We should consult for an IVC filter too.” Sehun was well aware that Sungha was glaring daggers in his direction, but he couldn’t care any less about it. He wasn’t responsible for it if she couldn’t remember the things that she has learned in the past four years. So ignoring her, he paid attention to Jongin, who after nodding his head in approval turned back towards Dr. Lee and raised a brow when he caught her in the act.

“Dr. Lee,” He called out with a certain edge to his voice.

“Do as he said and then tell your resident I want you off this case.” Thinking that the whole commotion was over, Sehun shot one last glance at the stupid girl before turning back towards the nursing station again to finish off his remaining task.

“Isn’t it great, Nurse Im?” The intern almost jumped a foot in the air when someone suddenly spoke right next to his ear and whirled around in his place to stare at Jongin who was looking at him with amusement shining in his eyes.

“My interns seem like they are finally ready to assist the attendees during surgeries. My hard work on them wasn’t a waste, after all.”

Wait- was that another compliment?

Sehun wanted to pinch himself because it felt like he was in some sort of a dream.

Was their mentor finally ready to let them enter the OR?

He couldn’t wait to let his groupmates know about it. They would be beyond ecstatic.

“Dr. Oh,” Hold on a minute, why the hell was Jongin standing so close to him? When the hell did that happen? He could practically feel the other male’s body heat seeping through the thin material of his scrubs.

Nu-uh.

That was code red.

He needed to do something about it.

“D-Dr. Kim.” Sehun acknowledged awkwardly, instead of doing what his brain (his very intelligent brain) was urging him to do, before clearing his throat.

“Can I help you?”

“Yes,” Jongin responded listlessly while intently taking in his features.

“Please don’t blank out like this every time I praise you. It will not reflect well on either you or me.” Red slowly crept upon his cheeks – he was so damn embarrassed – and it only worsened when Yoona (Nurse Im) threw him a cheeky grin.

Sehun would deal with her later.

Right then, he had more pressing matters to take care of.

“I didn’t blank out!” Okay, that came out sounding a lot stronger and defensive than he intended it to be.

“I will believe you on that.” Jongin did not believe him at all. It was so apparent from the look on his face. Sehun wanted to whack him or maybe he wanted to whack himself because he always acted like an idiot whenever he was around his mentor. He wasn’t very proud of it because he was not an idiot and he would never let himself turn into one, but Dr. Kim pulled out reactions from him that he didn’t even think he was capable of having.

That was it.

Sehun needed to get rid of whatever it was.

He just needed to be open with Jongin.

He simply needed to apologize to him about everything that happened at last Christmas (that cursed day) and then tell him to forget it. That way he would be able to function as a sane person again.

Right.

He should do that.

His plan was perfect. It should work, but there were two problems. (1) Sehun did not have the courage to do that and (2) his mentor has already walked out of the ER.

..................

“Dr. Kim!” Sehun called out for his mentor as soon as he spotted him. He has decided to say ‘fuck you' to his cowardice and has followed the other male out of the ER.

“Yes, Dr. Oh,” Jongin encouraged once they were within the two feet’ distance.

“I was wondering if we can talk…” Crap. He was losing his courage already.

“About?” His mentor prodded while tilting his head.

“About,” Sehun started hesitantly before taking in a shaky breath to calm himself. It was okay. He had done things far more difficult than what he was trying to do.

“…it is about what happened last Christmas.”

“Ah,” Jongin gave him one of those infuriating smirks.

“I was looking forward to this talk. Okay, go on. I would like to hear what you have to say.”

“I am sorry.” Sehun apologized without missing a beat.

“As you should be.” His mentor noted off-handedly; seemingly unfazed.

Ugh! Why was he so damn conceited and arrogant?

Couldn’t the other male at least, appreciate the fact that he was trying to ask for forgiveness? And how did he look so calm when Sehun felt like combusting from mortification? Truthfully, he was already regretting initiating that conversation.

He shouldn’t have touched the topic, ever!

“Look, let’s forget for a moment that you are my boss, alright?” He only got a ticked brow as a response.

“If you say so, Dr. Oh.” The intern wanted to groan and bang his head against the nearest wall. He just freaking told him to forget their professional status for some time. 

“Back then, I didn’t mean to do it. I was very drunk.”

“Do what?” Sehun looked at his mentor with an appalled expression. Was he seriously asking him that question? Did that cheeky bastard actually expect him to repeat what happened between them?

“Don’t y-you remember?” He couldn’t help but sputter that out with a flustered countenance.

“I do remember.” Jongin disclosed with a cunning glint in his eyes – he was enjoying this a little bit too much for Sehun’s taste – before casually leaning against the wall behind him. They were standing in the middle of the narrow hall, but thankfully it was completely empty at that moment.

“You made it kind of hard for me to forget. It is not daily I get your type of patients.” He was definitely making it harder for him on purpose. Sehun could bet his life on it.

“If you may recall, that night you hit on me in more than one way. Your approach was both, verbal and physical. I am simply curious which one of those was intended and which one was not intended.” His mentor elaborated for his convenience though Sehun wished that he hadn’t because his treacherous pale skin was already freaking burning.

“None of them was intended.” He denied strongly.

“I didn’t mean any of it. I was literally out of my senses and I genuinely feel really bad for harassing you like that.”

“Yeah, that was some harassment.” Jongin mocked with a snort.

“What was it again? You said something along the lines of me being trustable because I am hot-”

“Will it kill you to be a trifle kinder?” The frustrated intern couldn’t really help himself when he snapped at his mentor at last.

“You are a feisty one, aren’t you?” Sehun shrunk back in his place with eyes rounded in surprise when Jongin abruptly leaned forward to invade his personal space like he fucking owned it; which was absurd because no part of Sehun belonged to anyone.

“Dr. K-Kim. Let’s keep this professional.” There was something dark in his mentor’s eyes as he traced his crimson face.

Damn it!

Was his heart supposed to beat this fast?

He wasn’t even drunk this time for the sake of his favorite chocolate milk!

“You were the one who asked me to put our professional relationship aside for this talk.” Sehun cursed himself mentally for suggesting that earlier.

“This is not what I wanted.” The intern grumbled under his breath weakly which made his mentor chuckle.

“What do you want then, Sehun?” Why can’t Jongin listen to him for once? When he told him to be personal he was adamant about being professional and now that Sehun was telling him to be professional he was fucking all over his personal space.

“Forget about it. Everything that happened back then, I want you to forget about it.”

“I don’t know, Dr. Oh.” Jongin finally straightened up in his place and coolly pocketed his hands.

“Those are memories that I happen to be rather fond of.”

“What?” Sehun gaped at his mentor as if he has grown an extra head.

“I will think about it though, but no promises.” What the hell was he going on about?

“See you later.” Jongin bid him farewell with a wave of his hand and strutted away like the arrogant prick he was.

It was not okay.

Whatever that ‘it’ was; it was not acceptable at all.

Sehun needed to stay away from him.

Kim Jongin was way too dangerous and he didn’t do well with dangerous people.


“As Surgeons, we have to live in the world of the worst-case scenarios,” Dr. Kim’s stern deep voice bounced off the walls of the common room as he stared the four of them down with his arms crossed over his chest.

“We don’t hope for the best. We hope for the worst so that we can be prepared for anything that can be possibly thrown our way.” He broke off to scrupulously eye them one by one as if to make sure that they were hanging on to his counsel with their dear lives.

Unsurprisingly, Kim Jongin was a man of very few words. He spoke either to guide or to drive them up the wall so that they would be always on their toes around him. He liked to keep them on the edge – being around him was like walking on the thin glass that could shatter any moment if they were not being careful all the time – and every single word of his’ held a weight. He didn’t speak just for the heck of it. He always meant something with his words and sadly, he never meant them as a joke.

It didn’t take the interns a lot of time to deduce that their mentor didn’t like to talk a lot – he believed in actions, as he had told them himself a day or two ago – which was why when he did open his mouth, he expected to be heard and taken seriously. Not that there was anyone in their whole hospital who was brave enough to be dismissive towards THE great Kim Jongin.

“Whatever we have to face, keep in mind that you should never give up, at least not until the very end. Try your best, work fast, think faster, and try till the very last second.” Sehun quickly averted his gaze when his mentor briefly turned his attention towards him.

He was still not over what happened yesterday in the hallway – like stated before nothing that the other male said was meant to be a joke which was why he was going half-mad thinking about just what his mentor meant when he said what he said – and he also didn’t want to get caught staring. Just because Kim Jongin was looking extra ravishing today – Sehun couldn’t believe his intelligent brain was betraying him like that – with those metal wire spectacles resting on his nose bridge didn’t mean that Sehun suddenly didn’t have a dignity to maintain.

“The world of OR is unrelenting. The only regret that you can have in there is the death of someone you could have saved and trust me, that is not the kind of regret you want in your life, especially as a Surgeon. Are you getting my point, interns?”

“Yes, Dr. Kim!” Baekhyun was the one who answered on the behalf of their whole group with a big-ass grin on his face. Normally, Sehun would have been annoyed by the glittery sparkles that burst out of his friend’s – he cringed every time he used that word (Oh Sehun did not make friends), yet he was forced to use it because Baekhyun and Jongdae just won’t leave him alone (pests!) and would continue to make his life miserable if he didn’t, god damn it! – body because damn, the blinding happiness greatly offended his gloomy soul, but that day he couldn’t really blame him. They were finally allowed to scrub in on surgeries (!) which, by the way, also happened to be the reason why Jongin had personally bothered to pay them a visit at the very beginning of their shift.

“Your medical school was all about learning, but your residency is much more complex so never make a mistake of treating them the same.” Jongin continued firmly while passing a hand through his already tousled hair. Sehun couldn’t really help himself when his gaze followed that movement and he almost choked on his own spit when he accidentally ended up making eye contact (that he has been avoiding all this time) with his mentor.

For a second, he was sure that the other male would say something – from the look in his eyes, Sehun could easily tell that Jongin knew he was avoiding looking at him on purpose – but luck finally seemed to be on his side because the other male merely ticked a brow at him before moving on with his impromptu initiation speech.

“Aside from learning you have to recall and observe which you guys have been doing reasonably well at for the past week. Now, you have to actually perform, but that doesn’t mean you can stop learning or observing. Things will be getting hectic from now on so it will be better if you are mentally prepared for it. Are we on the same page?”

“Yes, Dr. Kim.” Jongin nodded his head with a satisfied hum at their response.

“The schedule board is out in the open for everyone to see. Keep in mind, you don’t get to choose what surgeries to scrub in on so it would be in your best interest if you are prepared for them all.”

“With all due respect, Sir. Isn’t it impossible?” Kyungsoo voiced out the question that was swimming around in the heads of all the interns.

“Difficult, but not impossible.” Their mentor was quick to contradict.

“Don’t forget that whatever you do will reflect on your evaluation and can make or break your career in one of the best hospitals in the world. You will get neither any heads up before you are called into the OR nor will any attendee go easy on you while asking critical questions. In fact, since you are my interns others might go even harder on you which is why I spent the previous week preparing you for it. Anymore questions Dr. Do?”

“No, Sir.”

“Alright then. Moving on, always keep a cool head. It is very important for a Surgeon to remain calm. I know it can be overwhelming sometimes, but do not panic and cause any blunders. If you are not sure about something, ask me or any other related attendee for help instead of trying to play hero yourself. Remember that you are carrying my reputation on your shoulders along with your own. Don’t know about others, but I won’t be your friend if you tarnish my repute, and let’s just say you do not want to make an enemy out of me.” There. He did it again. Threatening them as if it was his favorite hobby.

It might as well be.

“Now, there is no need to look so sour. If you make it through then in upcoming years of residency you will get to have your own interns. Torment them as much as I torment you.” Kim Jongin really did not feel any remorse, did he? Sehun bit his tongue to keep himself from scoffing again. He did not want to cross his mentor on the first day they were allowed to scrub in.

“Anyway, let’s talk about duties today. Dr. Do and Dr. Kim, you will deliver weekend labs for the patients. If one of you is asked to scrub in then the other will complete the job and vice versa.” Kyungsoo and Jongdae bowed their heads in respect before leaving the room immediately to start their jobs.

Jongin then turned towards his remaining interns.

“Dr. Byun, you will take the trauma pager and be down in the ER. In case, you are called to the OR inform the head nurse first so that another doctor can be arranged in your place.” Baekhyun nodded his head in acknowledgment, but unlike his friends earlier, he made no move to leave – lord bless his soul – perhaps because Sehun had told his group mates about how his conversation with Jongin went yesterday.

He was sure that Baekhyun knew Dr. Kim was the last person Sehun wanted to be alone with at that moment.

“Dr. Byun,” Jongin urged with his head slightly cocked to the side and shifted his gaze between the two interns in an amused manner. He knew exactly what was going on and was enjoying every second of it.

“I believe you will get the pager from the nursing station.”

“O-Of course, Dr. Kim.” Baekhyun stuttered out nervously before sending Sehun – who was already panicking big time – an apologetic smile. A part of him wondered if Jongin did it on purpose, keeping Sehun the very last one, but he didn’t dwell much on it. Whatever it was, he couldn’t help, but think that it was quite funny and endearing how the always composed and grumpy Sehun became so flustered around their mentor.

“Dr. Oh.” Jongin began with a smirk once they were alone.

“I believe we have a few things to discuss before I assign you some task.” Not knowing what to say or do, Sehun remained unresponsive. Okay, maybe not that unresponsive because the way his pupils literally shook from how much he was freaking out wasn’t something that could exactly be dubbed as not-a-reaction, but he didn’t care about it much. After all, he could still delude himself…right? Besides that, it was the essence that mattered not the substance.

“Oh Sehun.” His mentor called out, a bit strictly, at the lack of his response.

“Despite being very entertained by your antics, I will still like it more if you learn how to keep your personal experiences separate from your professional life.” Why the hell were they discussing personal and professional again? Sehun wasn’t ready for it, especially after their traumatic conversation – yeah, he was a drama queen like that – yesterday.

Nope.

It was still way too early.

“Right now, I am not the hot doctor you kissed while you were drunk.” Jongin continued looking a bit exasperated.

“I am your boss, your teacher, your mentor, and your attendee. I am in a position of authority and your senior which means that you will treat me with respect. I am not going to tell you what to do or what not to. You are old enough to decide that for yourself, but I want you to know that avoiding me isn’t going to bring you any good because I am going to treat you like I treat any other intern. Nothing makes you special or different.” Ouch! That hurt.

“I never said I was special! I am just embarrassed.” Sehun finally spoke up, even though it was to raise a protest.

“Get over it then!” His mentor asserted harshly making him flinch.

“You are the only one making a fool out of himself here. I assume that you have worked hard to be where you are today and you do not want it all to go to waste just because of some drunk mistake you made a year ago.”

“I do not.” It wasn’t like he was expecting Kim Jongin to be a nice person in that situation, but it still stung slightly which was absurd because Sehun didn’t get along with nice people anyway – he didn’t get along with people in general, actually – so why should it matter that his mentor was acting like an asshole at that moment.

“I am glad that we are finally on the same page.” Jongin appreciated before shifting in his place.

“Now, Dr. Oh you will be running the code team today. As you may already know, the code team deals with critical patients only so there are ninety-five percent chances of patients' death. Some of them might have already given up before you get there so prepare yourself for it. In case of being called to OR your protocol is the same as Dr. Byun though you cannot leave until you have made sure someone has taken your position. Any confusions?”

“No, Dr. Kim.”

“Get to work then.”


 “Asshole.” There was a figurative black cloud hanging heavily over Sehun’s head as he viciously stabbed at the chicken breast in his plate as if it would somehow turn into Jongin.

“Dude, spare the chicken. It is dead already.” Jongdae pointed out casually while taking a sip out of his can of coke.

“It is sad enough that the poor thing has to die for us. Don’t mutilate it like that, at least.”

“I can’t believe he talked to me like that.” Sehun conveniently ignored his annoying friend – who was more worried about a stupid chicken than him – before finally dropping his fork into the plate.

“No offense, but you were sort of acting like an idiot. I am glad that he knocked some sense into you.” Kyungsoo, ever the voice of reason, pointed out casually.

I know.” That was the most infuriating thing. Sehun knew that he has no right to be mad at Jongin because he knew what the other male said and did was right. Admittedly, he could have been a little kinder while doing so, but when have Sehun ever cared for kindness before.

“Oh, come on!” Baekhyun chimed in with an obnoxious grin.

“I think, it is cute. Sehunnie’s little crush on Dr. Kim.” Sehun promptly choked on the bite of chicken inside his mouth – served him right for hurting the unfortunate thing earlier; karma indeed was a bitch – before he turned to glare at his friend.

“Shut up! I do not have a little crush on anyone.”

“Is it a big crush then?” Baekhyun inquired cheekily which incited Sehun to reach over to smack him on the face. Sadly, Jongdae physically held him back before he could inflict any sort of damage.

“Don’t let me catch you when we are alone, Byun.” He threatened with a scowl.

“You really don’t want to find out what I will do-”

“Group four.” An unfamiliar deep, throaty voice interrupted Sehun.

“I am Dr. Park Chanyeol. The senior-most Cardiothoracic Surgeon of this hospital.” The newcomer introduced himself confidently with a sly smirk when they turned to face him and coolly leaned against the pillar that was right next to the table they were sitting on.

“I am scheduled to perform an Open-Heart surgery today so I need an intern to assist me and since Jongin, at last, has allowed us to test his precious interns I would like it to be one of you.” The size of his smirk increased towards the end.

In spite of the excitement he felt, Sehun got a bad vibe from him.

Park Chanyeol was a person who was oddly and frighteningly like their mentor. He was another famous Surgeon who was known to be a genius. He was best at what he did too. To add the cherry on top, he was twenty-nine years of age as well. If all those similarities weren’t bad enough, he sounded awfully familiar with Jongin.

It could never be good.

Sehun was convinced that Dr. Park was there to torment them like their mentor.

“Because I am a very generous person,” Dr. Park continued before anyone could volunteer.

“I will make the choice easier. Why don’t you guys lend me one of the scoffers of your group?” Ha! He knew it. The attendee was there to bully them.

“I heard there are two. Come on, don’t be shy and raise your hands.” Sehun wanted to scoff again so bad. What were they? Five-year-old kids in kindergarten? Resisting the urge to simply bang his head against the cafeteria table, he reluctantly raised his hand and turned to face Kyungsoo with a discreet pout when the other male did the same looking just about done with his life.

It was okay.

At least, they were in this shit together, unlike Baekhyun and Jongdae – fucking traitors – who were currently trying their level best to not laugh at their faces.

“Ah- Dr. Do. Why don’t you get ready to scrub in with me?” Regardless of his earlier sentiments, Sehun was glad that Dr. Park didn’t choose him.

“The surgery starts in half an hour. Be ready.” Static silence ensued for a minute or so after Dr. Park left before Baekhyun shattered it with a cackle.

“You know, Dr. Park has this rule of terrorizing one intern to keep the rest in line. I have heard from my med-school senior who works here that he can be an absolute pain in the ass. Soo, you really have a stroke of rotten luck. First, it was Dr. Kim and now it is Dr. Park.”

“I will cut his limbs off if he tried anything with me.” Kyungsoo seethed with a glower.

“I tolerate Dr. Kim because he actually knows how to teach. I will not tolerate another conceited asshole for the same reason. One is already pushing at my limits.”


Despite his little episode – which in his opinion wasn’t so little, but his friends seemed to think otherwise – in the morning with Jongin, Sehun was having a great day. Actually, it was better than great. It was the best day of his life because he just got praised by Kim Junmyeon, who just so happened to be the Chief of Surgery of their hospital. One didn’t need to be all-wise and wily to deduce that it was a pretty big deal, especially for an intern like him.

Getting praised by the Chief of Surgery earned him brownie points with the other attendees; maybe jealousy from some residents too, but who cared about that?

Meh! Sehun didn’t.

It increased his evaluation score which automatically increased the evaluation score of his whole group – his good-for-nothing friends should worship the ground he walked on – something that was always nice considering the fact that they were in a competitive environment. It also earned him limelight, the kind that showcased his skills, and respect so there was no surprise in the fact that Sehun was practically glowing; completely forgetting about the rough start of the day.

He wasn’t about to let Jongin’s shitty attitude ruin his day anyway. Sehun knew that he deserved the praise he got. He has worked his ass off to do as much justice as he could to his skills and capabilities so he would bask in it all he wanted without caring about his snobby mentor.

Running a code team was the most exhausting of the experience. There wasn’t even a single moment of rest. He didn’t even get to have a break that was more than ten minutes. They have to be constantly on the run, from one patient to another or from one ward to another. He has been extremely busy all day. The fatigue was beginning to catch up with him, but he still pushed on and was thankful that all his hard work didn’t go to vain.

You see, the code team only dealt with the critical patients. Like Jongin had explained earlier that meant there were more than ninety-five percent chances of the patients dying. Sehun, however, was swift and quick, both in his work and thinking. He has refused to give up till the very end just as his mentor has advised him to. Heck! He didn’t even remember how many people he has incubated or how many CPRs he has conducted in the past few hours. All he knew was that he has continued to exert himself – sweat dripping down his flushed face and his raven locks matted against his wet, heated forehead – in spite of his screaming muscles (or his code team telling him to simply give up) until the stubborn straight line on the heart monitor has admitted its defeat against his strong will.

He has saved them; all of them.

Now, he had no God-complex. He knew that it was fate, but still, Sehun liked to think that he, at least, has some kind of contribution in it. After all, regardless of the high ratio of death, out of twenty-five patients that he has treated today there was only one death – which wasn’t even his fault because the patient was more or less dead when he was brought to their hospital – something that Sehun didn’t know was such a big deal, but apparently it was because the whole hospital was buzzing with the news. It has somehow managed to reach the ears of Kim Junmyeon, the person who held the best record of running the code team (for an extended time period, mind you) prior to Sehun.

Hence, the praise.

Well-deserved praise.

His sweaty scrubs – they were appearing a darker shade of green rather than their original light green because of how drenched in perspiration he was – and the tight, aching muscles of his legs, biceps, and shoulders were the physical proof of his earnest labor. Sehun felt accomplished and there was absolutely nothing that could ruin his mood.

He was on freaking cloud nine.

Honestly, it was a little mind-boggling how Jongin and Junmyeon were brothers, but still so different in their temperaments. Yeah, Junmyeon was strict when it came to the rules – though Sehun could excuse him easily because that was what his position demanded from him – but he also wasn’t a miser when it came to appreciating the works of those under him, unlike a certain someone. 

“Give me the details.” Jongin’s deep, calm voice demanded as soon as he walked inside the station and snapped him out of his reverie.

“Jung Seojun. Forty-five-year-old male. He is a paramedic who collapsed all of a sudden while working on the field. He codded just a few minutes ago, but we managed to stabilize him.” Sehun panted while wiping away the excess moisture on his face. Damn it! He has never thought that giving CPR (so many times in a row for the duration of long minutes) would be such a strenuous task.

“Do we know what caused him to collapse?” His mentor inquired while walking closer to the patient.

“He was brought into the emergency. Dr. Byun attended to him. He was the one who paged you and just went out to order a CT scan. I can’t give you a proper diagnosis because I don’t have many details, but we might be dealing with suspected brain damage.” Sehun stood by the sidelines as Jongin started doing his own check-up on the patient. There was a minute or so of comfortable silence before the other male spoke up again, startling him.

“I heard you got praised by my brother today.”

“He was being generous.” What else was he supposed to say? Truthfully, the intern wanted to gloat the hell out of the whole situation, but he restrained himself from doing so.

“Hmm, not quite.” His mentor contradicted, a bit distractedly while feeling the pulse of the patient.

“He is pretty tight with praises, actually. I think in my whole twenty-nine years of life he hasn’t praised me more than ten times. To say, I am a genius who everyone looks up to.”

“Well, someone needs to keep a check on that arrogance of yours.” Sehun slapped a palm over his mouth with eyes bulging in horror as soon as those dreadful words left his mouth. He unconsciously took a step back while swallowing (a little too audibly) when Jongin snapped his head up to gaze at him; looking awfully surprised.

“You think I am arrogant.” His mentor repeated as if he couldn’t believe the sheer audacity of the intern whose career was in his hands.

“N-No!” Was it possible for the ground to open up and swallow him? Sehun wanted to hide in the darkest pits of the Earth with Satan because honestly, fuck Santa!

He was so freaking embarrassed.

Now, he wasn’t the type of person who took shit from others, but he also wasn’t the bravest soul out there. In fact, he was a coward; a coward who was usually smart enough to know when to open his mouth to snark at others and when not to. Unfortunately, it seemed as if his judgment has finally lapsed and his stupid mouth has blurted out the first thing that crossed his mind.

“I-I was just-” Sehun was ready to bang his head against the wall because he had no idea how he was supposed to amend the mistake that he has made.

“Ah- Dr. Kim.” Baekhyun’s sudden voice diverted Dr. Kim’s attention and saved him from the trying task of coming up with a lame-ass explanation. Sehun sagged visibly in relief and was feeling so thankful towards his friend that he could have totally kissed him. To Baekhyun’s extreme bad luck though – it was really his loss – Sehun has earlier seen him chewing a god-awful tutti-frutti bubble-gum which could give someone cavities just by looking at it so there was no way that he would act on that thought.

“Yes, Dr. Byun. You paged me.” There was an amused glint in Jongin’s eyes when he cast a brief glance in Sehun’s direction which truthfully shocked the intern because he was sure his mentor would be mad at him for saying what he did.

“I have a suspicion regarding this patient, but I wanted someone senior and more experienced to confirm it.” Baekhyun elaborated his reason with a nervous smile.

“What do you think is wrong with him?” It was apparent that Dr. Kim already knew the answer to that question because he reached out for the pen-light in his pocket almost right away without waiting for a response from their side.

“Sir, I am afraid that our patient here is at the risk of being brain dead,” Baekhyun replied anyway.

“Hmm…” Their mentor acknowledged his answer with a hum and gently lifted up one of the eye-lids of the patient before flashing the light directly into his irises.

“His pupils are dilated and there is no cornea response,” Jongin observed solemnly before straightening up in his place.

“I know you have already ordered a CT scan, but run other necessary tests too just so we can be absolutely sure. If he doesn’t respond to any stimulus in the next five hours, declare him brain dead.” Sehun winced in sympathy and gazed down at Seojun with his lips pressed in a thin line.

What will become of his family now? Was he married? Was he single? Did he have any children? Maybe he was the only support of a kind, old mother or maybe it was a kind, old father. It could be that he was the eldest sibling of the house taking care of the others. What will become of them now?

Not that he cared.

Nope. He has never been the type to sympathize with others. He was way too selfish for that.

“Dr. Oh,” Sehun tilted his head up when he heard Jongin calling for his attention.

“I want you to contact his family as soon as possible. Deliver the news to them gently and find out if he is part of any organ donation program or not. If he isn’t then I want you to ask the family if they want to donate any of his organs since they are all perfectly functional.”

“Alright, Dr. Kim.”

“Also,” Jongin added in as an afterthought right before he left them alone.

“If they do agree for the organ donation you two will be scrubbing in on the harvesting surgery since it was your case. Be prepared for it.”

...............

“I can’t believe you said that to his face.” Jongdae whistled while sipping on his latte.

“It just came out! I didn’t intend to say it.” Sehun defended himself with a groan and mumbled a weak ‘thank you’ for the cashier behind the counter when she handed him the change.

“I left you for five minutes and you got yourself in another trouble with Dr. Kim.” Baekhyun chastised with a disapproving frown before biting into his strawberry muffin.

“What will I ever do with you?”

“Yah!” Sehun protested with a scowl before looking back at a silently seething Kyungsoo.

Right.

None of them dared to ask him about the surgery he has scrubbed in on with Dr. Park because they knew something has gone wrong. Their friend at that moment was like a ticking bomb. One wrong move and it will explode in their faces. Sehun cherished his life too much to ask Kyungsoo about whatever the hell it was that got his panties in a twist.

“I wish I could fucking curse Park Chanyeol right in front of his ugly, conceited face. He is such an ass-hat.” Kyungsoo gritted out at last before ordering himself a piece of chocolate pastry; his comfort food apparently.

“What did he do?” Jongdae really was one brave creature who has no fear for his life.

“He fucking humiliated me in front of the whole OR on purpose, that’s what he freaking did! He confused me – that smug piece of shit – while asking senselessly vague questions which caused me to panic and I ultimately ended up messing up a stitch. A stupid stitch!”

“What an asshole,” Baekhyun remarked before clicking his tongue.

“Tell me that you at least got to learn something from the whole thing.” Kyungsoo’s angry expression softened up a bit at that.

“He isn’t a bad Surgeon, I guess. It was kind of fascinating to watch him work.”

“Doesn’t change the fact that they are making our lives miserable just to stroke their big as hell ego.” Sehun pointed out bitterly while sipping on his chocolate shake.

“Don’t be such a baby.” Jongdae snorted with a roll of his eyes.

“Technically, you were the one who was out of line this time when you called him arrogant to his face.”

“It is the truth!”

“The truth that shouldn’t have come out.” There was a no-nonsense lilt to his words that Jongdae mostly used on Baekhyun whenever he was acting like an absolute menace. Sehun was offended that he used that tone on him out of all people.

“Besides, he was telling you the truth. Our Chief isn’t exactly known to be someone who is generous with compliments. Have you ever considered that Dr. Kim was maybe just trying to make you see that it was something big and you should be proud of it?” Well…he hadn’t exactly thought of it that way, but now that Jongdae has voiced out the possibility, he couldn’t simply stop thinking about it.

Ugh!

Now, he was the one feeling like an asswipe.

Just great.


‘Happiness is not having to set an alarm for the next day.’

Sehun had first read that wacky-teenage quote on Facebook – back when he was still foolish enough to use it – and hadn’t thought much about it. He had assumed it to be idiotic even. He hadn’t appreciated the true essence of those words, the deep meaning they held and had acted in an extremely ignorant manner until the day came where he finally realized its true worth.

That day was the present one. It was the golden Saturday. Their first-ever day off since they have joined the hospital. Sehun was so freaking emotional that he could cry black tears from the very core of his darkened soul. After working his ass off under grueling circumstances and assholish attendees he was, at last, rewarded with a day of peace and quiet where there were no patients to see or emergencies to deal with.

Dobby was a free elf and so was Sehun.

At least, for the day.

“Lord! As much as I love being a doctor, I still love free days more.”  Sehun nodded his head with a chuckle while side-eyeing Baekhyun who was practically hanging off his arm like some trophy wife as they walked down the aisle in the supermarket. Kyungsoo and Jongdae were walking ahead of them with the shopping basket – actually doing something useful – and Sehun would have been with them too if he wasn’t being practically forced to drag around a hyper-active Puppy. Trust him, he has tried everything in his power to shuck the persistent paws off of him, but Byun Baekhyun was anything, but compliant. In the end, he has simply given up. There was no way for him to win anyway. His friend was obstinate as hell.

Sehun actually had no idea what made him Baekhyun’s favorite person to hang on to like a Monkey, but he has a suspicion that it has something to do with his height. He has never felt bitter about how tall he was before he met the other male.

“Everyone loves free days, Baek.” Jongdae, who seemed pretty occupied before, turned towards them with amusement twinkling in his eyes. It was so obvious that he was trying not to laugh at the comical spectacle that the two of them were making; one was looking grumpy as hell while the other one was beyond ecstatic.

“Can you spare poor Sehunnie now? You should help us get the things quickly so we can go home and cook.” The dramatic gasp that Baekhyun gave as a response along with the scandalized look on his face caused Sehun to roll his eyes.

“You will dare deprive me of my Sehun time?”

“Yah!” Sehun protested with an annoyed scowl and whacked Baekhyun on the back of his head when he started cackling.

“So annoying.” Kyungsoo scoffed at them before walking further ahead as if he has no desire to be seen with them.

“Soo!” Baekhyun, like the menace he was, let go of Sehun – much to the said male’s relief – with a teasing glint in his eyes and hastily ran towards Kyungsoo before jumping on his back without any warning.

Sehun couldn’t really help himself when he joined Jongdae and Baekhyun in their boisterous laughter though his’ was a lot milder than theirs.

What?

He could enjoy a joke or two as long as it was not at his expense.

“Byun Baekhyun!” Kyungsoo growled while trying to throw the heavyweight off his back.

“Let me get my hands on you. I swear on everything dark out there I will make a fucking voodoo doll of you and stick so many pins in there that you will be filled with holes.”

“Is that one of your kinky fantasies, Soo?” Baekhyun teased while landing a wet smooch on his victim’s cheek.

“Multiple holes?”

“Oh. My. God.” Jongdae literally had tears in his eyes as he grabbed onto Sehun’s shoulder to maintain a semblance of composure that the taller male himself was struggling to keep.

Baekhyun’s antics were truly priceless!

“Well, aren’t you guys having a very interesting conversation?” The four of them froze up as soon as they heard the familiar voice that addressed them.

“I will admit. I didn’t think your interns had it in them, Jongin.”

“Dr. P-Park.” Jongdae stuttered out with an awkward cough.

“Fancy seeing you here. You too, Dr. Kim.” Sehun begged to differ. It really wasn’t as fancy as his friend was making it be. Actually, it was more of a disaster. He couldn’t believe that they have to come across Park Chanyeol and Kim Jongin on their day off in a freaking supermarket.

How rotten was their luck?

The sudden yelp from Baekhyun broke Sehun out of his trance and he tilted his head to the side just in time the shorter male came to find refuge behind his tall frame. It didn’t take a genius to know who he was trying to run away from.

“Come out, Baek. Both of us will have some fun.” Kyungsoo muttered sardonically – there was a red flush to his skin that wasn’t there before which told them that the pissed-off male was feeling quite embarrassed at that moment – while walking closer to where Sehun was.

“I think I can work without it,” Baekhyun responded with a sheepish smile and ducked behind Sehun with a whimper when Kyungsoo swiped at him.

“Get out of my way, Sehun.”

“No! Sehun, don’t abandon me.” Baekhyun protested while throwing him a look so pitiful that Sehun felt his dead heart throbbing.

Ugh!

“Let him be, Kyungsoo.”

“Why would I do that?” Kyungsoo challenged without missing a beat.

“He is practically a puppy.” Sehun jabbed a thumb towards Baekhyun who instantly nodded his head while wagging his metaphorical tail. He was sure the shorter male would have thrown a ‘woof!’ in the mixture too if they were in the privacy of their home.

“We don’t hurt puppies here.”

“Fine.” Kyungsoo relented with a groan, even if it was after a long moment of hesitation while giving Baekhyun a stink eye.

“Just because you brought up the puppies.” Who could have thought that Do Kyungsoo was weak for cute things? He tried his best to hide it, but couldn’t really evade the intelligence that was Sehun’s brain.

“You have a soft spot for puppies, Dr. Do?”

“What are you still doing here, Dr. Park?” Kyungsoo implored dryly, casting a glance at the annoying attendee, before making his way towards the shelf to continue what they were there to do in the first place.

“You want me to go?” Park Chanyeol really has a death wish. Sehun has no doubt about it, especially when he saw the elder male following his friend and leaning into his personal space.

Yup.

He was as good as dead.

“Dr. Kim.” Kyungsoo deadpanned while glaring at Chanyeol.

“As my mentor, isn’t my safety your responsibility? This, over here, is something I consider workplace harassment. Please, keep your friend under control before I forget that I don’t particularly like prisons.” Jongin, who has been awfully silent all this time, placed back the bag of pasta in his hands and ticked a brow at his intern.

“We are not currently at the hospital, Kyungsoo. I am not your mentor outside of the hospital setting. You can deal with Chanyeol on your own without my help.”

Fair enough.

“Tch!” Kyungsoo clicked his tongue in disapproval before walking away from a very smug Chanyeol. Sehun knew his friend had a lot to say about what their mentor has just expounded, but kept quiet in fear of another round of rectal exams.

Nobody wanted that.

“Jongin?” A gruff feminine voice joined them attracting all the attention.

“Are you not done yet?”

“I don’t really know which one to pick, Joohyun,” Jongin replied with a shrug of his shoulders before turning towards Dr. Bae.

Well, she was Dr. Bae, the cold, no-nonsense, famous obstetrician-gynecologist, before she married their Chief of Surgery. Now, she was commonly known as She-Kim (still the cold, no-nonsense famous OB-GYN) in their hospital since she was the only female from the Kim family that worked with them. From what Sehun has heard, she was a force to be reckoned with. None of them have gotten a chance to work with her – as male doctors, they were kind of allergic to her side of specialization – but rumors have it that she was one ruthless person.

Not really a surprise if you ask him.

From what he has observed thus far, the Kim family was an assortment of insanely beautiful and talented genes that bred geniuses – God really has his favorites – and arrogant snobby attitudes that made them a nightmare for those who worked under them.

“Pick any,” Joohyun suggested while walking closer to them. Sehun literally felt a shiver going down his spine when her eyes landed on him and his friends.

“Ah, Joohyun,” Chanyeol started once he noticed her curiosity.

“This is Group four. The interns that are assigned under our Jongin. Group four, this is Dr. Bae your mentor’s sister-in-law and unarguably the best OB-GYN in this world.”

“Flattery won’t get you any favors out of her, Yeol.” Jongin pointed out with a snort before picking up a random bag of pasta.

“If you have knocked someone up accidentally and want to keep the birth of the child a secret. She is not your person.”

“Shut up, Jongin,” Chanyeol grumbled with a roll of his eyes.

“You are not funny.”

“I didn’t mean it as a joke though.”

“You-”

“You are the group with the highest evaluation score of this batch so far, right?” Joohyun inquired completely ignoring the squabbling males beside her. Her question was seemingly innocent, but there was a certain glint in her eyes that made Sehun feel threatened.

“Fortunately,” Baekhyun confirmed with a bright grin. The pride that he felt was clearly reflected on his face.

“Nice. Which one of you are the scoffers?” Sehun’s heart dropped to the pit of his stomach as soon as he heard that.

So that was what he felt.

Did Jongin really tell his whole family about it?

He didn’t come off as a person who would like to gossip around like teenage girls. It must have been Dr. Park who spilled the beans in front of the others.

“Why?” Kyungsoo lamented with a scowl.

“You want to bully us too?” Dr. Bae, for a second, looked surprised before she faced her brother-in-law with her arms crossed.

“You bully the interns, Jongin?”

“You are not the one to lecture me about that, Joohyun.” Jongin didn’t look fazed at all. Sehun wanted to smack him across the face.

“Who said I was going to lecture you?” Joohyun gibed with a smirk.

“I was going to tell you how proud I was.”

Morons!

“Okay, you two. Stop it.” Junmyeon, who appeared out of nowhere with an overflowing trolley, butted in before lightly smacking his brother on the back of his head.

“Cut them some slack. It is their day off. I am sure seeing you out of all the people was the last thing on their agenda today.” Huh! It was funny how accurate those words were.

“I don’t know, Hyung. There are some people here who find me hot.” Sehun felt his face blazing the second his brain registered those words and the implied meaning behind them. The awkward coughs that came from his friends didn’t help him feel any better either.

“Murder is a sin you don’t want to commit, Sehun.” Sehun griped under his breath not-so-gently before snatching the shopping basket out of Kyungsoo’s hand with a visible black cloud of spite looming over his head. Only if looks could kill.

“Let’s hurry up. I am feeling tired.” He just wanted to get the hell out of there.

“Oh, that is a lot of stuff. You guys do your groceries together?” Was Junmyeon a sadist or was he really as oblivious of the situation as he appeared? Why couldn’t he have remained silent? Why did he need to know? It wasn’t like their groceries were any of his business.

“Yeah, the four of us live together at Sehun’s house so it is more convenient this way,” Jongdae responded politely while nervously shifting his gaze between Sehun (who had thunder crackling over his head) and a very remorseless Jongin. Their mentor had the audacity to smirk when he should be fearing for his life.

“Ah- the one that is on a five-minute ride from our hospital? It is a very beautiful place.” Those words shocked Sehun more than he would have liked to admit.

“You know where my house is?” He couldn’t really stop himself from frowning. Why the hell did Kim Junmyeon know where he lived?

“I have visited it a few times with your mother, Dr. Oh.” Now, that was another topic that Sehun’s friends knew was not to be discussed at any cost.

What happened to their relaxing day?

Why did it have to end like that?

“I see.” Sehun acknowledged vacantly, feeling all kinds of emotions draining out of him at once. He should have known that some of the people he was surrounded with must have worked with Oh Heejin at one point or another. In fact, now that he was thinking about it, Dr. Park might have even trained under his mother since she worked at Seoul National Hospital as well. 

“You knew his mother?” Joohyun questioned while looking at her husband with imploring eyes.

“I am sure all of us know who Oh Heejin was,” Junmyeon responded with a shrug though there was something about his demeanor that told Sehun he knew exactly what kind of a person Oh Heejin was.

“Wait!” Chanyeol instantly butted in with wide eyes.

“You are Oh Heejin’s only son?” Sehun tightened his grip on the basket in his hand.

“I have been to your house too. Quite a lot, actually. Your mother was my assigned attendee during the third year of my residency and she was pretty hardcore about guiding me properly. It is weird that I never came across you at your house.”

“I didn’t particularly spend a lot of time there,” Sehun responded curtly before uncomfortably shifting in his place.

“You topped the board examinations, no?” Junmyeon noted before continuing.

“Must have spent all your time studying. You are just as hard-working as your mother.” There was only one thing in the world that Sehun hated more than Oh Heejin.

It was being compared to her.

No matter, how true it was, he simply couldn’t stand it.

“Not exactly. I avoided going home because I wasn’t very fond of my mother’s company. Kindly, don’t compare me with her again.” Stunned, awkward silence followed his words as Junmyeon opened and closed his mouth in a struggle to formulate an answer. Sehun would have found it amusing if he was in the mood.

“I get where you are coming from.” Unsurprisingly, it was Chanyeol who supported him with a grimace.

“Your mother was a very peculiar woman.”

“She was a bitch.” Sehun corrected apathetically.

“You are a straight shooter, aren’t you? I like it. No sugarcoating.” Jongin observed with a glint of amusement in his eyes.

“Why should I sugarcoat?” Sorry, not sorry, but he had no filter when it came to his witch of a mother. She ruined his life. She ruined him.

“She was talented, but that was all she could ever be. Now, if you will excuse us.” He snared Baekhyun – the victim who happened to be standing the closest to him – by his wrist and walked away from the people who just couldn’t shut up about Oh Heejin.

He would never understand how a monster like his mother was able to earn so much fame and respect.


Life as a surgical intern wasn’t an easy one.

It didn’t take long for Sehun and his friends to realize that.

It was their third week in the hospital and like Dr. Kim has warned them at the very start of their expedition it was way more hectic than what their first week at the work had been. There was just no time for them to relax except for the weekends; even those they have to spend cleaning the house or studying the conference lecture notes that had piled up over the week. Moreover, they were the toppers and the infamous interns of THE Kim Jongin which without any doubt increased the pressure on their shoulders.

They always have to be in their absolute best form, especially when everyone – meaning their fellow interns and the residents – watched their group with Hawkeyes. It was almost as if they couldn’t wait for one of them to make a major mistake, a slip-up; for reasons that were still unknown to him and his friends.

The residents practically hated their group – well, majority of the residents, but it wasn’t like the four of them cared since those people weren’t that important – because they weren’t that fond of Dr. Kim altogether which, in his opinion, was absurd (he would like to know why), but then again all great people have to ultimately deal with hate from amateur idiots who couldn’t accept the reality that there was someone way better than them out there.

Their fellow interns apparently hated their group because they believed that being the interns of Kim Jongin gave Sehun and co. unfair privileges. Seriously, he wanted to knock some sense into their thick skulls to make them realize that their group was just that great. They were skilled and talented enough on their own. They were the board toppers collected in one group for crying out loud! Being Dr. Kim’s interns had nothing to do with the high evaluation score that they had. Besides, those stupid people haven’t worked under Jongin yet or else they would have been singing a whole different song.

The Attendees were the nicest people in the surgical wing if he was to speak frankly – nurses and technicians too because they had no reason to be jealous – though that didn’t mean they weren’t cocky and arrogant (*cough* Jongin and Chanyeol *cough*) and that definitely didn’t stop them from having extremely high expectations. Sehun and his friends have to work their asses off to get the evaluation score that they currently had. Other stupid interns can answer all those puzzling questions and get the same score. It was as simple as that and to some extent a bit irritating too.

What have they exactly done to warrant such behavior from their peers?

Sehun had no idea and truthfully speaking, he wasn’t that interested in it too. After all, jealousy was a disease that he has been way too familiar with throughout his life. His friends didn’t seem to mind it either. Kyungsoo was actually happy that he didn’t have to pretend to like those snobs; how typical. Baekhyun and Jongdae didn’t have any particular reactions, but from how they acted around the other interns – Baekhyun could be a real cheeky piece of shit when he wanted to be – it was apparent that they were happy to be out-casted and alienated from people who didn’t seem to think of them positively.

Really, it was a blessing in disguise and none of them minded it.

They had each other’s back all the time anyway.

 

“Interns! Hurry up.” Jongin burst inside their common room, literally shocking the living daylights out of them. Sehun wasn’t even kidding. Poor Jongdae who had fallen asleep a few minutes ago – they have just finished their forty-eight hours shift and were about to head home – jolted awake from the sudden sound and ended up hitting his forehead on the railing.

“There was a huge accident nearby.” Their mentor continued, a hint of urgency present in his tone, once he was sure that he had their utmost attention.

“We need all the help that we could get. Be down in the ER within the next five minutes.”

“Okay, Dr. Kim.” Nodding his head in satisfaction at their response – it was Baekhyun who answered only, but still – Jongin turned around to leave though he faced them again right before stepping out.

“I know you are tired and want to go home, but saving human lives is our utmost priority. Get used to it as soon as you can. For us Surgeons, the more hours we spend in the hospital, the more surgeries we get which means more exposure and experience and a high evaluation score for you interns. I will advise you to hydrate yourself properly and grab some energy bars before heading there. Also, for heaven’s sake, do not mingle with the ER interns because they don’t know their esophagus from their asses. Now, move!” As if jinxed by their mentor's words, the loud beeping of the pagers went off right away making a very disgruntled Jongdae groan.

“Be right there, Dr. Kim!”


“Okay, guys!” Junmyeon’s voice rang loud and clear inside the ER catching everyone’s attention. It was the third time Sehun was seeing the Chief in person and he still couldn’t help but admire the authority he held in his demeanor alone.

“Stitch fast, discharge faster, and send the critical patients up to the OR so that your attendees can take care of them. Let us all try our best. Keep in mind we have to free up the beds as quickly as we can for the upcoming patients so make haste.”

“What asshole decided to conduct an illegal bike race in broad daylight during rush hours?” Kyungsoo gritted out in annoyance while glowering at the guy whose arm he was stitching not-so-gently; what he did was against the code, but it wasn’t like the guy didn’t deserve it. Seemingly, he was one of the participants and from what Sehun has heard from the paramedics, his bike crash has caused the immediate death of a ten-year-old boy who was going coming back from the school on foot.

“That is the thrill of it, dude.” The stupid guy had the nerve to throw them a smirk.

“There will be no fun if the streets were empty.” Sehun rolled his eyes in irritation while focusing on his own patient. The ER was filled to the brim. They needed to move more swiftly to be prepared for the next wave of patients. He did not have any time for a retard.

“Fucking toad, you killed a ten-year-old boy.” Kyungsoo fumed – for a second it looked like he was about to whack the guy on the face, but thankfully he didn’t – before stepping back with a sigh.

“I hope you rot in prison for a long time.”

“Is he one of those guys who caused the accident?” The middle-aged woman that Sehun was treating inquired while throwing a scathing glare towards the impudent man who held no remorse over the death and misery he has caused to others.

“He is, but you don’t need to focus on him. The police will deal with him. They are actually outside to arrest these people-”

“Dr. Oh!” Sehun broke off at the end of his sentence and turned around to face Nurse Park – yes, the very one who watched him make a fool out of himself a year ago – who was panting pretty heavily.

“Dr. Kim Jongin has asked for your attendance in the OR. You are going to scrub in on a surgery with him and Dr. Kim Minseok.”

“Kim Minseok? The Orthopedic Surgeon?” He was one of the few attendees that he hasn’t gotten a chance to work with.

“Yes, the one and only.” Nurse Park joked with a weak smile.

“There is a guy with amputated fingers up there. You should hurry. They will be by OR-2. It was busy when I came but must have gotten free by now. You don’t want to be late when everyone is so high-strung already from the stress.”

“Okay, Sooyoung, but can you help me with this lady here. She needs a few more stitches.”

“You don’t need to worry about her. I will take it from here and call another doctor.”

“See you later then!”

……………

“Innocent people lost their lives. You deserve to lose more than just two fingers.” Sehun grumbled under his breath lowly so that no one could hear him though he was sure that his colleagues won’t really mind it if they did happen to catch his words. Everyone knew what he said was the truth and they would agree with him to some extent.

“Aren’t you doctors supposed to be nice? Something about being professional and following the code of conduct or other shit like that.” The intern pointedly stared at the patient they were supposed to operate on; another guy, Han Taewo, who was involved in that warped race that took so many lives. It was beyond his comprehension how these people did not feel an ounce of shame or regret for what they did. Contrary to that, they were complaining. The fucker lying on the gurney in front of him with a huge gash on his side and two amputated fingers really had the audacity to complain about pain. If Sehun wasn’t a doctor, he would have cut off his dick as well to bring justice to the universe.

“I have no obligation to be nice to the likes of you.” His curt reply pulled out a wheezing chuckle from Taewo.

“You are being prejudiced – ah, fuck! This shit burns.” Pursing his lips in a thin line, Sehun reached out to lift his shirt to take a closer look at the gash. It was bleeding quite profusely. They needed to get him in that OR fast or he would lose too much blood.

“Why aren’t you getting me in there?” Taewo complained while muttering another curse.

“Well, thanks to you and your friends all our ORs are busy right now. The one I am supposed to take you inside is being cleaned and disinfected for use. They will call us when it is ready.” Sehun explained in a bit of a snappy manner while looking around for his mentor. His earlier exhaustion and lack of sleep weren’t doing him any favors at that moment. It was making him feel grumpier than he usually was which could never be a good sign. He was afraid that he would end up smacking Taewo across the face if that stupid guy didn’t shut his trap up.

“You are a feisty, pretty little thing, aren’t you?” A hot wave of anger flooded Sehun’s system as soon as he heard that remark. He didn’t know what it was that made him feel so mad. It wasn’t like he was being called feisty or pretty for the first time. Jongin had attributed him with the former adjective hardly a week or so ago, but it hadn’t made him feel the way he was feeling right then.

Why did it offend him now?

Perhaps it was the fact that the stupid guy has called him a thing.

Sehun was not a thing. He was a living person. A fucking awesome one at that – thank you very much! The difference between Taewo and Jongin was so big that there needed to be no comparison. He was livid at himself for even thinking about it. No matter how cocky and conceited his mentor was, Sehun knew that the other male never had any malicious intentions behind his words. Taewo, on the other hand, looked like he would gobble Sehun up if he got the chance to do so.

“You don’t value your life-”

“Han Taewo.” A deep familiar voice interrupted their conversation as Jongin walked up to them with Taewo’s medical file in his hands.

“You are one of the participants, I see.” Maybe he was looking too much into it, but there was an unpleasant glint in his mentor’s eyes. The way he had his lips pressed in a thin line, clear disapproval written on his face, was the total giveaway of what exactly was going through his mind – it was nothing pleasant.

“Yeah, I take part every year. This time things went a bit south.” Sehun bit down on his bottom lip to stop himself from screaming at the mentally sick guy. What the hell was he looking so damn proud for?

“This world is filled with retards.” Someone gruffly commented from the side before casually walking closer to the stretcher and taking hold of Taewo’s injured hand.

“But you already know that, right Taewo?” Suppressing the snigger that threatened to bubble past his lips at the condescending tone – the remorseless idiot deserved it – Sehun diverted his complete attention towards the newcomer.

Ah!

So this was the infamous Kim Minseok.

One of the best Orthopedic Surgeons in their country and the eldest son of the disgustingly rich and influential Kim family. Honestly, he looked every bit of Jongin’s brother. He was known to be strict and cold. Confidence was his second name. He was extremely skilled and talented which was a given since he was considered to be the best. He was accomplished and like his brothers, he also didn’t lack in the department of looks and charisma.

“Have you seen his x-ray films yet?” Jongin appeared pretty unfazed by the conversation going on around him as he extended the black x-ray films in his brother’s direction.

“Looking at how badly the fingers are smashed, I don’t think we will be able to retain their full functioning. Moreover, the test results show that the nerves have been too damaged.”

“I can fix the bones,” Minseok informed while squinting at the films.

“We can sew his fingers back on. The question is, would it be worth it? If the nerves are too damaged then we might as well just close his wounds.”

“What do you want us to do, Taewo?” Jongin turned to face the supposed victim.

“Don’t really care.” Was that guy serious? Sehun really wanted to take a look inside his head.

Was there even a brain in there?

How could he be so nonchalant about it?

“You are doing quite well given your situation.” Minseok observed blankly with a frown.

“What can I say? The pleasant view really helps.” Taewo responded with a shrug of his shoulders before hissing like an idiot because the movement stretched the gash on his stomach.

“You have a really nice looking ass, by the way.” It took Sehun a long, painful moment to realize that the guy was talking to him before the mortification ultimately crashed in. Feeling humiliated and agitated, he tried his best to cool down his face – it was beginning to burn bright red from embarrassment or maybe it was rage – and turned to aim a withering glare at the guy who was verbally harassing him in front of his attendees.

“Dr. Oh,” Jongin called out for his attention before Sehun could do something stupid – like committing murder and hopefully getting away with it too – and handed over the patient’s files to him.

“Why don’t you go and check how much longer will it take for them to clean the OR?” There was an unusual hardness in his mentor’s tone. It was the kind that was subtle enough to not be overtly detected, but at the same time threatening enough to not go completely unnoticed or ineffective. It told Sehun that he did not want to find out what Jongin’s reaction would be if he dared to defy his direct instructions – ignorance was bliss after all –  so, despite wanting to strangle a certain someone with his bare hands, he stiffly nodded his head and heeded to the orders given to him.

“Hey, sweet-cheeks.” Sehun stopped dead in his tracks, body practically trembling with how riled up he was, as soon as Taewo addressed him with that disgusting name. He has never been the one to be known for his patience or tolerance and the aforementioned lack of sleep was only making everything worse. Besides that, he did not work so hard to become a doctor so that some fucked up asshole could sexually molest him like that.

Sehun swore on everything dear to him! If Taewo didn’t shut up right that instant, he was not going to take responsibility for whatever he would do next – his mentor be damned.

“Won’t you encourage me with a good-luck kiss?” The intern fisted his hands in order to keep himself from lashing out. He knew that Taewo wasn’t worth it; he wasn’t worthy enough to get a reaction out of him.

“I will accept a nice fuck as a reward later if you are busy right now.”

“To hell with it!” Sehun gritted out under his breath – fury coursing through every pore of his body – and whirled around to charge straight at Taewo; who jerked back in his place like a pathetic coward he was. Not that it deterred him in any way because Sehun fisted his hands in the other guy’s collar all the same. 

“Listen to me, you man whore!” He hissed with a glower and boldly hovered over the stretcher. The dead silence that suddenly permeated the hallway should have snapped him out of his bubble of rage, but for some reason, at that time it only seemed to have egged him on.

“First of all, I bet your dick is small and not good enough so fucking dream on. Second of all, whoever said that you were cool was blind. You are a pathetic excuse of a human being who does not even have enough decency to feel bad about the deaths that you have caused.” Letting go of the collar, Sehun snatched up the hand with the missing fingers.

“I swear to Lord! If I wasn’t a doctor I would have chopped of the rest of your fingers as well. Now, shut your trap up or so help me I will amputate your sorry excuse of a dick myself and play it off as a medical obligation.” There was no possible way he could actually do that, but Taewo didn’t need to know that.

“Are we clear now, Taewo?” Sehun demanded while threateningly narrowing his eyes.

“Y-Yeah…” It was satisfying how rattled the annoying piece of shit looked.

“Good.” With that, the intern once again turned around on his heels and left to check up on the OR that they were assigned.

……………

Damn! He is something else.” Minseok whistled in appreciation with a crooked smile before facing his youngest brother with a twinkle of interest shining through his eyes.

“Is he now?” Jongin humored in a blasé manner while staring in the direction his intern disappeared to.

“Oh, cut the crap, Jongin.” The elder male sassed with the role of his eyes.

“I know you are impressed by him too. I can practically see it in your eyes. You can’t play this off.”

“Think whatever you want to.” Jongin waved off listlessly with a shrug knowing very well that there was no use in arguing with his brother.

“Let’s just fix this guy. I don’t want to bear with him any longer than it is necessary.”

“I second that. He runs his mouth way too much. If your intern hadn’t knocked some sense into him, I would have.”


“Lord! I feel awful.” Sehun complained while throwing himself on the bed beside Baekhyun who whined in protest but cuddled up against his side all the same.

“What happened?” Jongdae asked from the bed above them.

“There was this annoying as hell guy that I had to take care of until the OR was prepared. He was one of the participants and was so damn smug that I wanted to strangle him. He kept on hitting on me too and called me sweet cheeks in front of everyone. If that wasn’t enough he asked me to reward him with a nice fuck once he is out. I felt so humiliated. Jongin and his brother, Minseok was there. I kind of lost my temper as well and may or may not have threatened to cut the guy’s dick off.” Sehun related with a tired sigh before burrowing his nose in Baekhyun’s hair. The sweet scent of Strawberry wafting off his friend comforted him.

“I would have straight away done that instead of giving a warning.” Kyungsoo, the ever-supportive guy, scoffed from his own bunk bed.

“Those no-brains have been pissing me off all day.”

“Honestly, fuck them!” Jongdae cursed grumpily which was a surprise to all of them.

Kim Jongdae was a bright, shining ball of Sunshine.

He was made up of everything nice and happy.

He chased away the darkness.

What he didn’t ever do was cursing.

“Wow, mark the date,” Baekhyun mumbled sleepily against Sehun’s neck.

“The great Jongdae finally lost it today and cursed.”

“Give him a break, Baek.” Kyungsoo defended with a stifled yawn.

“It has been a long day and we still can’t go home.”

“Don’t remind me of that.” Jongdae fake-sobbed before falling silent with a huff.

They lapsed in a comfortable sort of silence for the next few minutes which Baekhyun finally broke by groaning and sitting up in his place. Sehun bit his lip to stop himself from objecting when the soothing warmth left his side. He would die, but would never let his friends know that he truly enjoyed Baekhyun’s impromptu cuddles.

“I actually have a way for all of us to destress.”

“What is it?” Sehun humored the shorter male in hopes he would be done soon and lie back down.

Baekhyun only gave him a grin that screamed nothing, but trouble.

Uh-oh.

“You will just have to see it with your own eyes.”

...............

“Oh God! Look at that one. He is so fucking cute.” Kyungsoo gushed – yes, he gushed – while pressing his face against the windowpane with his eyes wide in wonder. Sehun couldn’t really judge him for it because the four of them were in a similar position at that moment.

“My brother better hurry the hell up and get a baby already.”

“He isn’t even married yet.” Sehun pointed out helpfully but didn’t bother to face his friend. He was way too occupied with cute babies to do that.

“Why is he so damn slow?” Kyungsoo’s petulant complaint caused them to snicker.

“Fuck! That is such a tiny fist. It makes me want to have a baby of my own.” Baekhyun suddenly exploded while longingly staring at the beautiful baby girl on crib no.5.

“I want to pick one of them so bad.” Jongdae lamented and lightly tapped his fingers against the glass to see if it could attract one of the babies’ attention.

Sadly, it didn’t.

If someone was to pass by and see four grown-ass men in scrubs – with large bags under their eyes from the lack of sleep – acting like smitten idiots in front of the Nursery they would call the freaking security on them and have their group kicked out of the pediatric ward. Not that Sehun minded any of that. They have finally found a way to release all the stress and it was the cutest method possible on Earth. People could judge him for it all they wanted, but he won’t be bothered.

“I can’t believe I gave into Baekhyun’s wishes and it is actually working.” Kyungsoo let out with a laugh.

“I blame the babies.” Sehun quipped with his lips pressed in a thin line.

“They make you toxic.”

“You mean soft, right Sehunnie?” Jongdae mocked – which earned him a glare from his taller friend – before turning towards Baekhyun.

“Baekhyun how did you even think of it?”

“I was helping Yixing with delivering labs to Dr. Bae the other day. It was a pure accident when I stumbled across these precious little beans.” Baekhyun revealed with a proud smile and pulled himself away from the window.

“Anyway, I am going to the cafeteria. Want to come with me?”

“I will.” Kyungsoo volunteered while begrudgingly moving away from the glass pane too.

“Better eat something before things get crazy again.”

“Sehun you want to come?” Sehun shook his head at Baekhyun.

“I will stay here for a little longer. Can you bring me a sandwich?”

“Me too.” Jongdae appealed with a sigh.

“I have to go and collect the labs for Dr. Wu.”

“Okay, then. See you two in the common room.” Kyungsoo proposed before taking hold of Baekhyun’s arm to drag him away from the Nursery. Sehun watched them go with a small smile on his face and turned towards Jongdae when the shorter male patted him on the shoulder.

“I will get going too. It will take them ten minutes max so make your way back soon.”

“Sure thing.” Sehun agreed with the shrug of his shoulders and turned back to watch the babies when he was left alone. There was something oddly calming about watching innocent little beings, totally dependent on adults, wiggling about with their tiny limbs and doe eyes.

Maybe Sehun wasn’t all that dark and twisted.

Maybe he still has some hope.

It has to be the case. He wouldn’t have melted for such a pure creation of the universe if he was lost for good.

“Oh-” He jolted slightly in his place and pressed himself closer to the window when he saw the little infant wrapped in a blue blanket looking at him.

“Hey there~” Sehun cooed like a fool he was and raised his hand to wave at the little thing.

“Aren’t you the cutest?” The baby gave him an adorable, gummy smile as if he could hear and understand him which the adult male knew wasn’t possible.

“Aww…look at that smile. Yes, you are the most adorable shit ever. Like a little prince-”

“Uh-huh!” Sehun jumped in his place when he suddenly heard someone clearing their throat right beside him and turned to face the person who has decided to ruin his peace.

“D-Dr. Kim.” What the hell was his mentor doing there?

“I didn’t expect to see you here.”

Jongin raised his brows at him in amusement.

“I was here because Dr. Bae wanted to consult with me on a case. What are you doing?” Sehun felt his face coloring. He was sure that the other male has already seen him acting like a dork and was just asking that question to get a kick out of it.

“Nothing much...” Could his voice get any weaker than that?

“Does that baby belong to someone you know?” His mentor needled while facing the front too.

“Umm, no. I don’t think I know anyone who would visit this place any time soon.” Sehun answered truthfully before looking back at the baby boy. A smile graced his lips when he found that the little bundle of joy was still looking at him. In fact, he had his arms raised as if he wanted Sehun to pick him up.

Oh! How badly he wanted to do that?

“Why are you here then, Dr. Oh?”

“We were stressed so Baekhyun suggested that we come here to watch the babies. Apparently, it helps.”

“Really?” Jongin didn’t look convinced as he squinted inside the nursery with his hands deep in the pockets of his lab coat.

“Well…I don’t know if it will help you considering that you are made of all evil and are the incarnation of Satan himself.” His mentor scoffed upon hearing that.

“You are really not scared of me, are you?” What the hell was he talking about? Sehun was absolutely terrified of him.

“First, you kissed me without my permission. Then you scoffed at me. The other day you called me arrogant and not to forget you snapped at a patient who was about to go in the surgery when I warned you against it. Today, you are calling me evil and the incarnation of Satan.”

“Okay.” The intern began with a frown.

“I scoffed at you because you were annoying as hell. I do not regret it and trust me neither does Kyungsoo. I called you arrogant, evil and an incarnation of Satan because you are all those things, and let’s not play around, we both know that I am right. I snapped at that patient because that moron deserved it and it is not like I didn’t listen to you at all. I did walk away, but then he said all those humiliating things. Doesn’t this hospital have some kind of a protocol against workplace harassment, Dr. Kim? Was I supposed to let that guy do whatever he wanted with me?”

“I never said that.” Jongin vindicated himself strongly.

“You implied that just now,” Sehun argued with a glare.

“I was simply wondering.” His mentor wasn’t the one to back down either.

“I never said that I held it against you. Trust me, you would have been in a lot of trouble if I had.”

“Fine, then.” The intern gave in with a weary sigh.

“There is one other thing.”

“What is it?”

“Can you stop bringing that kiss up for heaven’s sake? I told you to forget about it.” Sehun tried his best to keep his voice as low as possible.

“And I said I will try. No promises were made, Dr. Oh.”

“Whatever.” The intern projected his annoyance by openly rolling his eyes. He was way too tired to deal with Jongin’s shit.

“In case you forgot, I will remind you that I was completely out of my mind when I did that and I also didn’t know you will be my mentor back then so cut it out already. It is getting old and annoying; mostly annoying. Also, you have this misunderstanding that I find you hot. Get rid of that too. What I said to you that day didn’t mean anything.”

“Is that so?” Frowning in confusion – why was he being doubted like that? – Sehun turned around in his place to give Jongin a piece of his mind but ended up only taking a step back with a gasp when the other sagely crowded him against the windowpane.

“W-What are you doing?” He demanded incredulously – his heart, out of nowhere, started beating way too fast for reasons that remained a mystery to him – while eyeing the arms that were placed against the glass on either side of his head. Just from the forearms alone, he could tell that his mentor was a lot stronger than he was and there was no way he could push him off. Plus, his attention was snared by the black tattoo that started a little bit below the wrist and disappeared under Jongin’s navy blue scrubs. He has previously noticed it on the first day of his residency and once again couldn’t help but wonder what the full version looked like.

From what he could make out, it was some kind of a saying written in cursive and surrounded by two small-sized circles. Out of those circles went out a line that closely imitated the lifeline that was commonly seen on the heart monitors. Strangely thrown in the mix was a blackbird with swirls that looked a lot like a Phoenix; half of which was covered by the sleeve of the shirt.

Fuck!

What on Earth was his stupid mentor thinking?

“D-Dr. Kim.” Sehun called out – hoping that his traitorous face wasn’t burning as badly as he felt – when the other male made no move to stop the atrocity that he was playing at.

“Please, maintain the professional distance.”

“Tell me again, Sehun,” Jongin commanded and leaned closer to his face in a painfully slow manner; completely ignoring what he has said in the process. Sehun was sure his heart would burst out of his chest by that point with how hard it was beating.

“Tell me you don’t find me attractive at all while looking me straight in the eye and I will let you go.” Something about that very idea made his mind whirl. He knew that looking into his mentor’s deep brown eyes from so close would do him no favors. He was as certain as one person could be and there was no way he was going to do what the other male asked him to.

“I don’t find you attractive. Here, I said it. Now, let me go.”

“I told you to look me in the eye.” Sehun cursed under his breath.

“What nonsense is this?” He hissed, feeling flustered, and looked around the hall in panic; effectively avoiding making an eye-contact.

“I swear-”

“It is easy.” Jongin cut him off breezily.

“You simply have to do what I just told you to.”

“This is wrong.” Sehun tried to knock some sense into his mentor’s thick skull and put a hand on his chest to push him away. The only thing that he got out of that action was the unnecessary and disturbing (at least, he tried to think that way) knowledge of how firm Jongin’s chest was. Other than that, his tormentor didn’t budge a smidge.

“That innocent baby is watching us, Dr. Kim. I swear, he was looking at me.” He tried again – babbled would be the proper expression – feeling his chest heaving up and down slightly with how flabbergasted and nervous he was. The fresh, woody and aromatic masculine scent that drifted off his mentor and assaulted his sense of smell wasn’t making the situation any better.

“Poor thing doesn’t even know what is happening and he is being scarred for life-”

“There is nothing happening, Dr. Oh.” Jongin pointed out with an airy chuckle before finally stepping away from him with a smirk so smug that it incited Sehun to snatch his head bald.

“You do find me attractive. That is why you are not looking me in the eye. You are afraid that it will make you feel something.”

“Stop deluding yourself.” The intern denied with a scoff.

“Deny it all you want,” Jongin goaded before casually pocketing his hands again.

“We both know what I said is the truth.”

“It is not!”

It would never be the truth.

“See you later, Dr. Oh.”


“Sehun, why are your boxers pink, and what in the name of Lord is that awful thing on your ass?” Kyungsoo’s judgmental voice bounced off the walls of their common room the second Sehun pulled down his pants to change into scrubs.

Don’t talk about it.” Sehun groaned miserably, forgetting all about putting on his scrub pajamas, before throwing a glare at Baekhyun who was trying his best to keep a straight face, but was horribly failing at it.

“Baekhyun accidentally spilled his coffee over my only clean pair of boxers and since he felt bad about it, he gave me his extra ones which just so happened to be a gag gift that he, himself, never used.” Don’t judge him too badly. He was usually a very neat person, but sadly, he was also a busy Surgeon who hardly had any time for himself. Underwear was a scarce thing that they were bound to run out of. Besides that, it was almost the end of the week which meant that they still haven’t done their laundry.

“Who gave you a pair of Hello Kitty boxers as a gift, Baek?” Jongdae implored with a chortle while putting on a shirt. It reminded Sehun that he was standing butt naked – well, not naked since he was wearing those obnoxious Hello Kitty boxers – in the middle of their lockers and prompted him to bend down to put on his pajamas.

“A childhood friend of mine thought it would be funny to gift those to me as a parting gift when I was moving away from Busan. I never knew Sehun would end up wearing them.” Baekhyun ended his sentence with an evil cackle which caused Sehun to fume. He let go of the pajamas that he was going to pull up, in favor of swiping a hand at his friend.

“Shut up, Byun. Don’t make me-”

“Oh!” A dreadfully familiar voice exclaimed from the entrance of the room.

“Hello, Kitty.” Sehun squeezed his eyes shut in mortification – he could already feel heat climbing up his chest to his face – and had to muster all the strength inside him to stop himself from banging his head against the locker in front of him.

“Dr. Kim.” He acknowledged with a painful smile after hastily pulling up his pajamas and turned around to face his mentor; who unsurprisingly shot him the wickedest smirk that the poor intern has ever seen.

That’s it.

Sehun was so done with his life.

It was the worst day ever. Almost as bad as the day he kissed Jongin while he was inebriated. Only, back then he wasn’t in his senses which meant that he didn’t feel the pure force of embarrassment that was coursing through his system at that moment.

He was so going to murder Baekhyun.

“I-I don’t usually wear these. Seriously, I like the skin-tight black ones, but Baekhyun spilled coffee over my only clean pair and I didn’t have anything else to wear. This thing isn’t even mine and you should totally knock on the door before entering a room. Those are basic manners-”

“Dr. Oh.” Jongin cut his rambling short and ticked a brow at him.

“Your shift has started a good fifteen minutes ago. It is not my fault that you are late in getting changed. I am also not interested in your laundry situation or what kind of underwear you like to wear, as a matter of fact, so please refrain from oversharing in the future.” That effectively shut Sehun up.

“Now, since you guys are properly dressed shall we get down to business?” Jongin needled before throwing his interns a meaningful look. They knew what that stare meant. They were late – Kyungsoo has gotten stuck in the bathroom because for some reason the lock there decided that it didn’t want to budge anymore – and their mentor wasn’t exactly happy about it.

“Yes, Dr. Kim!” Knowing what was wrong, didn’t mean they couldn’t pretend like everything was okay. Hopefully, Dr. Kim would let their mistake slide for just this once.

“Okay. First thing first, I have good news for you.” Jongin, much to their shock, did let the whole thing slide.

“As you know our hospital hired twenty interns and divided them into five groups; each with four members. I think you would be happy to know that with the completion of your second week here at the hospital the group with the lowest evaluation score has been eliminated. Surprisingly, you guys are still in the race.” Sehun rolled his eyes. It was not surprising at all. They were the group with the highest score. There was no way they would have been eliminated in the first stage. Still, it was kind of nice to know that their competition has decreased in number.

“From now onwards you will be joining me on the rounds every day.” Their mentor proceeded when none of them said anything.

“Remember that, you have no time to relax. Things are only going to get tougher. Do not let your guard down and don’t for a single moment think that your place in the program is secure. Once your batch has reached its second month here, two more groups will be laid off and by the end of your first year of residency, only one group would be kept in this branch while the other one would be sent to our sister hospital. In other words, Seoul National Hospital only has four spots open and you don’t want to lose them. Any confusions till now?”

“Umm…sister hospital?” Jongdae inquired hesitantly.

“It is located in the suburbs of the city. Of course, it is a high-standing hospital, but not as good as this one. Anything else?”

“No, Dr. Kim.”

“Moving on then,” Jongin settled down on one of the wooden benches and crossed his arms.

“As I was saying today you are at the top, tomorrow you can be at the very bottom. Your evaluation score doesn’t depend on how many surgeries you get. It depends on the quality rather than the quantity. I need your overall performance to be A-plus or else a person with limited surgical experience can overpass you if they are doing well enough. Am I making myself clear, interns?”

“Yes, Dr. Kim,” Baekhyun responded with a grin so bright that it blinded the people around him. Okay, maybe Sehun was exaggerating.

“Be careful.” Their mentor continued in a softer tone – the kind he has never used before – and shot them a small smile which conveniently took them to the verge of a cardiac arrest.

Dr. Kim smiled at them.

It was a genuine smile, not a smirk.

Sehun wanted to pinch himself to make sure he was not dreaming.

“I will advise you to not trust anyone easily around here. I don’t know if you are aware, but your group is surrounded by Vultures. They are all seeking an opportunity to strike. I can’t always keep an eye out for you so please be extremely careful with who you decide to be friends with.” Jongin’s words were strangely heartfelt. Sehun didn’t even have to look at his face to know that the other male was sincerely worried about them.

It was an odd concept to digest, but was pleasant, nonetheless.

“We will take care, Dr. Kim,” Jongdae assured with an eye-smile that Sehun has begrudgingly come to adore.

“Thanks a lot for your warning.” Kyungsoo too, expressed his gratitude even if he did so in an extremely awkward manner.

“I don’t get why residents hate us, honestly.” Sehun voiced out the confusion that has been on his mind for so long.

“I understand that the interns hate us because of the competition, but we have done nothing that will warrant such behavior from our seniors.”

“They are threatened by your group. It is jealousy more than hatred.” Jongin divulged before casually tipping his head back and closing his eyes.

Sehun tried his best not to let his eyes wander down the exposed neck-line that he was suddenly attacked with.

“Here, I will let you in on something.” Their mentor suddenly straightened up in his place, looking uncharacteristically eager, and crossed his legs under his body.

“The best evaluation score in the whole history of our hospital is the one that my group made a few years back. We were four members like you guys. It was me, Dr. Park, Dr. Bae, and Dr. Wu. Of course, Joohyun and Yifan were older than me and Chanyeol, but we worked together pretty excellently. Yeah, it helped that I and Chanyeol were considered as extra-ordinary geniuses, but trust me, Dr. Bae and Wu are more than talented as well. By the end of our internship, the evaluation score for our group was perfect.

“Perfect…” Baekhyun repeated in fascination.

“Like, a complete score?”

“Yes, Dr. Byun. Not even a single mark was missing.” Jongin confirmed with a proud smirk.

“No one has ever gotten a perfect score other than our group, but you guys took a pretty good start. If you keep up with it, you will end up being somewhere very close to what we got and that is what the residents and interns here feel threatened of. You see, if you have a certain amount of score by the end of your internship, you are given a choice by the hospital to reduce a year or two from your residency period which means that you can acquire an early and guaranteed fellowship at the hospital. Like residency though, there are only four spots. If you do decide to take up the opportunity, your seniors in that year would not get an offer by Seoul National Hospital.” That was an interesting piece of information that Sehun and his friends had no idea of.

“No wonder the residents hate us,” Kyungsoo concluded with a snort.

“I would hate us too if I was in their place, but oh, well. It’s not our fault they didn’t work harder in their internship period.”

“Exactly.” Their mentor agreed before standing up.

“Keep that in mind. You guys have worked hard for whatever you are getting. No one is doing you any favors. Do not let your seniors ever emotionally blackmail you into giving up your spot. I know they will try, but you must not give in.”

“Why would I give up my spot? That is ridiculous.” Jongdae expounded with a wrinkled nose which settled all the matter for their whole group because if the nicest person on the Earth wasn’t ready to make that sacrifice, there was no way any one of them was.

“Glad to know that, Dr. Kim.” Jongin approved before running his fingers through his locks.

“Let’s talk about work. I told you before, you will be doing rounds with me. You are going to be the first face the patients see at the start of the day. The first person they will talk to. Be polite, courteous, and approachable to establish effective communication. Make note that good communication between a doctor and his patient leads to a proper diagnosis. Ask them about their families, friends, hobbies, work, and socioeconomic status. Anything that will make them talk; anything that will make them feel comfortable.” Sehun’s heart rate suddenly picked up – with how often it happened, he was starting to get irked – when his eyes accidentally met Jongin’s. He, kind of, still wasn’t over what happened the day prior, and from the cunning glint in his mentor’s eyes, he could tell that the other male was well aware of it.

Curse his life.

No, wait.

It was already cursed.

“Why is establishing communication important? It is because you need details. Why do you need details? So that you can give them to your attendee. If you miss something, it will lead to a faulty diagnosis which will make your attendee look bad. What happens when you make your attendee look bad? I don’t know about others, but I will most definitely make your life here a living hell.” There! He did it again. He threatened them once more just when Sehun was beginning to think that Jongin wasn’t as evil as they thought him to be.

“Now, if you guys don’t have any questions to ask. I will like to start the rounds.”


“Kim Jongin.” Sehun growled menacingly and slammed the clipboard in his hand on the counter of the nursing station with a lot more force than needed. Jongdae, who was already there writing discharges – the task of the day that their mentor has assigned to the both of them – tipped his head up with a chuckle.

“What did he do now, Sehunnie?”

“He exists!” It was only the start of the day. Sehun couldn’t believe Jongin has managed to piss him off so early in his shift. How was he going to survive the trying hours that were coming his way?

“Hey, that is not a very nice thing to say.” Jongdae chided while wagging his pen at him.

“But seriously, why are you so mad?”

“He won’t stop greeting me with ‘Hello, Kitty’ every fucking morning. I am sick and tired of it. That annoying embodiment of wicked. He gets on every damned nerve in my body.” Sehun complained before slumping against the counter.

“Well…” Jongdae started before tilting his head in a thoughtful manner.

“He is a Neuro Surgeon. Getting on people’s nerves is in a way his job requirement.”

“Jongdae!” Sehun protested with a sore scowl when he heard his friend’s sunny laugh.

“Okay, okay.” The other male tried to pacify him.

“Why don’t you just ignore it? He will stop if he doesn’t get any sort of a reaction from you.”

“Haven’t you seen how annoying he is? It is impossible to ignore.” Sehun defended himself before finally straightening up in his place. He needed to get started on his task if he didn’t want to get scolded.

“He is not as bad.” Jongdae rolled his eyes at him – yes, Jongdae out of all people. For some reason, that made him feel betrayed. Why was his friend taking Jongin’s side? Weren’t they supposed to be on the same team considering they proudly held the title of the oppressed interns of Dr. Kim-tyrant-Jongin?

What has the world come to?

“You are saying that because he let you in on a standstill surgery, Jongdae.”

“Exactly!” Sehun scoffed when his friend didn’t even show the decency to deny his claim.

“A standstill surgery as an intern with the great Kim Jongin. Do you know how that will look on my resume? Actually, forget the stupid resume, it was like a dream come true moment for me so don’t you dare judge me for that.” Jongdae validated before letting out a dreamy sigh.

Sehun couldn’t help the small smile that took over his lips.

It really was a big deal, especially for Jongdae who idealized Dr. Kim so much and it simply wasn’t handed to him just like that. He has worked hard for it; all of them did.

A week ago, they were doing their usual rounds with their mentor when Jongin has casually informed them of the standstill surgery that he would be undertaking. He has, very carelessly, tossed four copies of the case study in their direction and has asked them to prepare a report. Naturally, whoever would have the best report out of the four of them would get to assist him in the OR.

It was, of course, a tough, but nonetheless a very friendly competition – Baekhyun has stolen Kyungsoo’s half-finished report on the weekend purely to get a kick out of the stressed, grumpy male and let’s just say Sehun’s excuse of ‘we don’t hurt Puppies’ hadn’t worked very well that time around because Baekhyun was still supporting a bruise on his left arm – between the four friends which despite Sehun’s best efforts he has lost to Jongdae; no regrets there though. In retrospect, he shouldn’t even have tried because no one – no one – can beat Kim Jongdae’s love for Dr. Kim’s golden hands which apparently his friend thought was a national asset in themselves.  None of them could match his drive honestly and it was only proven true when on the day of the surgery Jongin has asked Jongdae to scrub in.

Sehun, himself, was assisting Dr. Wu Yifan in a bypass surgery during the duration of the standstill so he hadn’t been able to watch – despite his fervent wish to – but according to Baekhyun, who has watched the whole process from the gurney, Jongin had made Jongdae stand right in front of him. He has explained everything in clean detail to his star-eyed intern and had even allowed him to perform a procedure. Their mentor had made sure that Jongdae got the clearest view of everything that he was doing and for their sake, he had asked a nurse to film the whole process too.

He really did go out of his way because, at end of their shift that day, Jongin had called them up in a conference room and had discussed the whole procedure in an extremely elaborated and polished manner. He had also given them the copies of the taped surgery and have instructed them to watch it with Jongdae because he had gotten a firsthand experience and would be able to give them intricate insight.

Truth be told, it made all their hard work worth it even when they didn’t get to scrub in like Jongdae.

 

“I get it Jongdae. You are ready to worship the ground that Dr. Kim walks on.” Sehun quipped with a fond shake of his head and slightly bent over to put his signatures on the discharge papers.

“He is not the only one, you know?” Luhan, another one of the young, senior nurses in their hospital, pointed out with a smile. He has been so quiet this whole time that Sehun didn’t even notice his presence.

“A lot of people in this hospital are ready to do anything to get Dr. Kim’s attention whether it is for professional purposes or…otherwise.”

“Elaborate otherwise.” Jongdae prompted with a raised brow.

“I mean a romantic relationship, you idiots! Can you blame them? He is a full course meal.” Luhan clarified with a cheeky grin.

“Please, don’t call him that. Lord! He is a human being, not a meal or whatever they call him.” Sehun couldn’t help but grimace.

“Plus, it is very shallow.”

“This world is a shallow place, Sehun.” Luhan countered with the shrug of his shoulders, not appearing ashamed or deterred at all.

“Not that it means anything to me. I have a very loving boyfriend.”

“How does Dr. Wu even keep up with you?” Jongdae gibed with a playful smile which seemed to have offended Luhan. Sehun was sure that the elder male was about to give his friend a piece of his mind when Yixing interrupted their very interesting conversation.

“You two! I was just about to page you.”

“What is it?” Sehun closed the file he was working on instantly.

“There is an emergency case in the trauma center that Jongin is attending to. He asked me to page you and Jongdae. Make haste. It appeared critical.”

“On our way.” Jongdae abandoned the patient history that he was previously reading.

“Luhan can you keep these safe for us. I will come back to get them once we are done.”

“Sure, thing.”

………………

“Those look like…”

“Nails.” Jongin, who was carefully moving around the gelled transducer stick in order to carry out a head ultrasound, completed Sehun’s sentence for him before looking over at them.

“I can’t see much on this portable screen, but it looks like he missed a major blood vessel. A minor miracle if you ask me. His optic nerves have been affected though I won’t be able to access the damage just from this.”

“There are at least eight of them in there.” Sehun leaned closer towards the screen.

“How did this happen?”

“He slipped down the stairs while holding a nail gun.”

“Ouch.” Jongdae winced from the back.

“Must have been painful.”

“It was more than painful.” Jongin corrected.

“He was conscious when they brought him in. There is 10mg of Morphine in his system presently.” He continued a little bit distractedly as he was still busy accessing the image on the screen.

“So is anyone going to tell me what our immediate concern is?”

“Infection, Sir,” Sehun answered right away.

“Okay.” Their mentor hummed in a contemplative manner.

“I want to pull these nails out in the next half-an-hour. I need the CT scans.”

“CTs are down,” Jongdae informed with a frown.

“The computers crashed an hour ago and are still in the process of being fixed.”

“What else can we do then?” Jongin graced them with his full attention at last.

“We can always take an MRI.” A feminine voice that joined them out of nowhere startled Sehun and Jongdae – they were way too busy examining the ultrasound image to be aware of their surroundings – before they turned to face Dr. Lee Sungha with matching frowns.

Was she there with them all this time?

“It will be more detailed than a CT scan anyway.” Sehun was sure that the stupid girl has learned nothing in her medical school. How did she even get into the program?

“Great.” Jongin deadpanned while looking as unimpressed as one person could.

“The man has nails stuck in his head. Let’s put him in a giant magnet and hope that he will still be alive after that. Dr. Lee, you seriously make me question your position in the program.” Sungha, at least, had the sense to look embarrassed at that.

“Dr. Oh,” Their mentor called out after a moment of critically staring at the girl.

“What should be our course of action?”

“Umm…” Sehun started intelligently before clearing his throat.

“We need films from the three-axis points which we can always pull out from the previous case studies. I think we should be able to get help from the X-ray films and the images from the ultrasound as well.”

“Excellent.” Jongin approved though his narrowed eyes remained fixed on Sungha. If Sehun was in her place, he would have melted into the ground from the sheer intensity of his glare.

“Jongdae, dig up the records and see if something like this has happened before. After that, get me the films and the images as well. Till then, Dr. Oh you will stay with the patient and keep a check. Also, get a history from his wife. She is waiting outside. When you two are done get me an OR and scrub in with me.”

“Ok, Sir,” Jongdae responded awkwardly and spared a glance towards Sungha who was visibly fuming at them. Of course, Jongin pointing out her foolish mistake was somehow his’ and Sehun’s fault.

“Find me in my office.”

……………

“What the hell? It was one of the best surgeries I have ever seen.” Sehun exclaimed out loud in awe and closed his open mouth shut when he saw Kyungsoo judging him.

“Don’t look at me like that.” He objected with a wrinkled nose.

“I am not betraying you like Jongdae here.”

“For the last time, Sehun.” Jongdae let loose an exasperated groan.

“Defending Dr. Kim doesn’t make me a betrayer. I was just trying to make you see reason.”

“Betrayer,” Sehun repeated stubbornly before crossing his arms.

“Cut Jongdae some slack. You have no right to call him a betrayer when you too sound so smitten by Dr. Kim, Sehunnie.” Baekhyun noted with a teasing smile which made him scoff.

“I am not smitten, okay? I am simply appreciating talent. He pulled the nails out so cleanly. There was no excess blood. Do you know there are 95 percent chances of rampant bleeding? Is he even a human?” Sehun tried to justify himself.

“Whatever. You guys are lucky that you got to scrub in. I was stuck with annoying, Dr. Park.” Kyungsoo spoke up for the very first time.

“Hey, wasn’t he performing Laparoscopy? How come you are complaining about it?” Jongdae inquired in disbelief.

“I am not complaining about the surgery. I am complaining about the surgeon. There is a difference, Jongdae.” Kyungsoo spelled out in a blasé manner.

“He was being annoying on purpose. I got free just in time and could have watched Dr. Kim’s surgery if stupid Park Chanyeol hadn’t delayed me intentionally.”

“You really should have watched it,” Sehun affirmed wistfully.

“The way Dr. Kim moves is so fast, efficient and smooth. No wonder he is one of the best and at such a young age too.”

“Thank you, Dr. Oh.” A familiar voice sounded from behind, rooting them in their places. Of course, Kim Jongin would find a way to make them feel flustered even when they weren’t doing anything remotely embarrassing. Scrap that, it was their own fault. Why were they discussing their mentor and the wonders he could pull while standing next to the nursing station that was closest to the OR.

They brought this one upon themselves.

At least, they were not bad-mouthing him.

“Dr. K-Kim,” Sehun acknowledged while trying his best to not appear as mortified as he felt at the moment. He was the one who was caught praising Jongin so, without any doubt, his predicament was the worst.

“Do I order an MRI for the patient?” It was best to ignore the whole thing altogether. Ignorance was bliss anyway. Never mind the fact that Thomas Gray’s context when he said that was entirely different.

“Yes, but let him get stabilized first.” Jongin, thankfully, didn’t seem to be in one of those awful frames of mind where he felt the need to drive them up the wall as much as he could.

“However, I want to work on the damaged optic nerves as soon as possible so don’t make any unnecessary delays.”

“Do you suppose we can take him for the MRI after an hour-?”

“Jongin,” Jongdae’s question was cut short by Sungha who, once again, appeared out of nowhere with a sickly sweet smile on her face.

“Do you want to get lunch with me?”

“Did she just call Dr. Kim by his name and asked him to have lunch with her?” Baekhyun demanded in a whisper, his eyes wide in shock, before facing Sehun who, for some reason, did not seem pleased at all by the newcomer.

He wondered what the sudden shift of attitude was all about.

“Do you mind, Dr. Lee?” Sehun snapped with a lilt of irritation, surprising everyone around him; even Jongin.

“We are discussing a critical patient here who can possibly lose his eye-sight forever. I am sure your lunch-whatever can wait.”

“Excuse me! How dare you?” Sungha’s features contorted in rage as she faced Sehun who merely raised a brow at her.

“How dare I what? Care about my patient? If you failed to notice that is what you are supposed to be doing as well.” Damn. Sehun was on fire. He was in one of those moods where he got extra bitchy. Baekhyun was sure there was something egging his friend on. This girl must have really pissed him off.

“You are way out of your line!” Sungha snarled and took a threatening step towards Sehun who looked irked – as if her mere presence was giving him a headache – more than anything else.

“Exactly.” Jongin piped in before his intern could retaliate. He stepped forward to stand between Sehun and Sungha and cocked his head to the side with an agitated scowl. The stupid girl has been quite a nuisance to him lately. She was way too dense and thick-skulled to get the message that he wasn’t interested in her in any way.

“You are way out of your line, Dr. Lee.”

“Jongin I-”

“Who allowed you to call me by my name? I, for a fact, don’t remember doing any such thing.” Sehun has to physically stop himself from flinching at the harsh tone.

“Our mothers are friends.” Ah! So that was what all the attitude was about.

“Our mothers are acquaintances, not friends and even if they were that doesn’t make a spoiled, privileged brat like you anyone special to me. Don’t forget that I am your boss. You are just another intern who can’t do her job properly. Now, make yourself scarce because you have been annoying the hell out of me for the past few days.” Fuck. Compared to how he was talking to Sungha, Jongin has been relatively sweet and lenient with them all along.

“Jongin, rude as always.” One of the fifth-year residents, if Sehun wasn’t mistaken then it was Han Ilbum, joined them without any invitation.

“Why don’t you mind your own business, Han?” Their mentor shot back listlessly.

“I am minding my own business. Sungha is my intern.”

“I know.” Jongin divulged with the shrug of his shoulders.

“You cannot insult my intern like this, Dr. Kim. Moreover, she told me that you unfairly took her patient and gave it to your interns.” Ilbum wasn’t exactly happy with the way he was being blown off. Sehun suspected that he was one of those people who hated Jongin out of pure jealousy. 

“Now, did I?” Of course, their mentor wasn’t fazed at all. In fact, a subtle smirk graced his lips as he confidently made his way towards Sungha – she was looking a bit panicked and red in the face – and her mentor.

“Nurse Zhang, can you please come here for a second?”

“Can I help you, Dr. Kim?” Yixing, taking note of the thick tension, instantly abandoned his station to walk closer. A crowd of doctors, nurses, and technicians from different levels was beginning to gather around.

“Yes,” Jongin waved his hand in the general direction of Ilbum.

“Will you be so kind to tell Dr. Han that I was the doctor who attended to the patient in the trauma center earlier?”

“You were the only doctor present there at that time so there is no way someone else tended to that patient,” Yixing confirmed.

Sehun felt his lips twitching up in a smirk.

“Was Dr. Lee there from the very beginning?” Jongin continued, however, this time he didn’t appear as calm as before. Something about his demeanor changed completely.

“No.”

“Did I call her to assist me?”

“No, she came there on her own.”

“Was she talking to me about the patient?” Yixing shifted in his place uneasily before answering.

“She was asking you out for a…date.”

“Is that answer enough for you resident Han or should I ask Luhan and Yoona to testify against your intern too?” Jongin goaded with a smug, mocking smile.

“You could have still asked her to scrub in.” Dr. Han declared looking positively humiliated.

“Listen here, Ilbum.” Jongin gritted out as his patience waned.

“Unlike you, I am not a kiss-ass. She may have gotten into the program while there were so many other deserving candidates because of her mother’s efforts, but that doesn’t make her a good Surgeon. I know, Dr. Lee’s mother is a somewhat known senior doctor in our hospital, and you are hoping to get some favors out of her,” Wow, their mentor really didn’t have a filter, did he?

“…but let me tell you one thing. She is not the one in power here. She is simply another good doctor who despite being talented is not irreplaceable. My family’s hospital has a reputation that has never been tarnished in the long history of its operation. The main reason for that is the fact that our authorities here are not blind. Do you think no one noticed the blunder that Miss Sungha made in the surgery last week – the blunder that you tried to cover up so hard on her mother’s bidding and even tried to shift the blame of it on my intern by asking Dr. Byun to scrub in with you later without informing him of how fucked up the situation actually was.” Sehun’s eyes widened as soon as he heard that. Baekhyun, next to him, looked visibly shaken as well.

It was true.

Jongin had indeed stopped Baekhyun from scrubbing in on resident Han’s surgery last week at the very last moment and had forcefully assigned him to the ER instead, claiming that he was the in-charge there and his interns joined procedures that were approved by him only. That was, of course, bullshit. To add the cherry on top, Jongin hadn’t given any plausible reason for his actions so it wasn’t really a surprise when Baekhyun had spent the entire evening calling Jongin snobbish and evil. Now, though, they were forced to see the whole situation from a totally new perceptive.

The four of them were sure that it wasn’t Baekhyun only. There have been a few occasions in the past month where Jongin has stopped one of them from joining their senior residents – admittedly only a selected few of them, but still – in a similar fashion. It has irked them, a lot more than they would like to admit, but now that he thought about it again, Sehun wondered whether their mentor was looking out for them all this time. If that was the truth then it was pretty impressive because Jongin has succeeded in keeping them out of any sort of trouble; so much so that they weren’t even aware of it.

A foreign feeling of gratitude filled his body to the brim. The fact that it was directed towards Jongin was more shocking than the feeling itself.

“I-I don’t understand what you are going on about.” Ilbum stuttered out with a visibly pale complexion. Sungha didn’t look any better too. Sehun has known from the beginning that the stupid girl was of no good. He knew that the distrustful vibes that he got from her ever since their first meeting was not something that he should have overlooked. She was a freaking pest that fed on the hard work of the others around her. Yes, that’s it.  The only reason why she irritated him so much was because she was a blood-sucking Leech.

Phew! He doubted himself for a second back there. How ridiculous of him to think that he was jealous whenever Sungha tried to get close to Jongin…

That was not possible.

There was no reason for him to feel that vile emotion.

“Don’t worry, Dr. Han,” His mentor’s taunt brought Sehun back to reality.

“The director’s panel of our hospital is known for being kind. They will make you understand everything once you are called in for an inquiry. Let’s hope you and Dr. Lee won’t permanently lose your medical license.” Jongin wished apathetically before his eyes lazily roved around to take in the crowd gathered around them. He was up to something. The sharp glint in his eyes was the clear indication of it.

“Jealousy is a disease and some of you reek of it.” It was a warning. A very subtle and coated one, but still the impact of it was felt by almost everyone there in full force. Honestly speaking, Sehun has been a bit confused – with the way things were shooting off in quick succession no one could really blame him because really they were discussing optic nerves – but now everything became as clear to him as a glass.

He knew exactly what the other male was trying to do and why. All along, he has been wondering why Jongin suddenly felt the need to dish out the facts that he has been keeping to himself for almost a month, in such a public manner. He hadn’t even informed them of the fact that they were being sabotaged. Yeah, their mentor did tell them to be careful with who they decided to trust, but even that has been vague.

Now he understood his reasons though.

It was the best opportunity and Jongin was making full use of it. Not only did he get rid of a nuisance, but he also effectively set an example and sent a message to all the people out there who were trying to ploy dirty schemes against their group. He was letting everyone know that whatever they were doing was not a secret, their identities weren’t hidden, and if they didn’t stop their end would be the same as Dr. Lee and Dr. Han.

It was a fucking slam dunk!

A very clean and smooth one.

No fingers were pointed. No names were mentioned. Their mentor wasn’t even the one who instigated the conversation. In fact, it was Sungha and Ilbum themselves. If the word shrewd was a person, it would have been Kim Jongin.

Sehun held no doubt about that.


“Alright, interns.” Was the greeting they got from Jongin the moment he joined them appearing every bit distracted and busy.

“This morning we got a patient with a vaginal hernia in the ER. Dr. Bae is going to perform Colporrhaphy to repair the vaginal cavity and she asked me for an intern. Before we start the rounds today, I will like one of you to volunteer.” Sehun couldn’t help, but make a face at what was being requested of them. As mentioned before, being male Surgeons they were highly prejudiced against the OB-GYN ward. It was nothing personal – mostly a popular medical stereotype – but even the thought of having his hands up or inside someone’s vagina gave him creeps.

He was gay for heaven’s sake.

Vaginas have never attracted him in the first place.

“Well?” Their mentor urged when none of them spoke up.

“You mean we will be inside some woman’s vagina?” Kyungsoo, the bravest of them all, implored with a wrinkled nose.

“Yes, Dr. Do.” Jongin deadpanned.

“That is exactly what I mean.”

“I will pass.” If it was a few days prior, none of them would have dared to be so nonchalant around their mentor, but after what happened with Dr. Han and Dr. Lee (they were fired from the hospital two days ago) their relationship with Jongin has taken a positive turn. They have admired Dr. Kim already as a great surgeon before, but now they held an immense amount of respect for him as a person as well – not that they were ever going to admit that in front of him – which in turn made them feel more comfortable around the other male. It was a little bit of a stretch, but Sehun would consider that they were now on friendlier terms than before.

“I see.” Jongin didn’t look all that surprised. Considering Kyungsoo’s personality, none of them was particularly shocked.

“Dr. Kim, perhaps, you will like to assist Dr. Bae in the surgery.”

“Come on!” Jongdae whined in protest.

“Why me? I am the straight one.”

“Exactly.” Sehun pointed out in a matter-of-fact tone.

“You will have no problem having your hands inside a vagina.”

“That is not how I enjoy-”

“Enough.” Jongin broke in with a frown.

“You shouldn’t be prejudiced when it comes to saving lives. It is just for this once. Suck it up and do it.”

“Can’t you assign some female intern from another group? OB-GYN is basically a feminine field. Male Surgeons have no business in there-”

“Is that so, Dr. Kim?” Dr. Bae, who appeared out of nowhere, cut Jongdae’s entreaty short.

Fuck!

“D-Dr. Bae,” Jongdae acknowledged his attendee with a nervous, sheepish smile.

“It is nothing personal. I swear.”

“Oh, it is very personal.” Sehun wasn’t entirely certain what it was, but something about Joohyun’s behavior indicated that she was extremely pissed; not at Jongdae, but it looked like he was going to be the unassuming victim anyway.

“Jongin, this intern of yours is going to be assisting me from now on. Keep him free whenever I have surgery.”

“Noted.” Jongin threw his intern under the bus without a moment of hesitation.

Jerk.

“Actually,” Joohyun started again after a brief pause.

“I want him to shadow me. So, I will be taking his reigns from you for the time being. Do you have any issue with that, Dr. Kim?” Jongdae weakly shook his head in denial. He was in a fix already. There was no way in hell was he going to argue against her wishes and make it messier; at least, not yet.

“Great. I like my coffee without sugar and milk.” Dr. Bae informed casually before booking it out of there.

“Dude,” Kyungsoo began with a sympathetic wince.

“You are royally screwed.”

“Dr. Kim, you can help me out of this, right?” Jongdae ignored his groupmate in favor of fervent begging.

“You are my mentor for crying out loud.”

“I am sorry, Dr. Kim, but my hands are tied here.” Jongin was clearly lying. It was so apparent, especially given the amused smirk on his face.

“So She-Kim just walks in, decides to eternally ruin vaginas for a straight guy like me and no one will say anything against it?” Jongdae demanded in disbelief.

“Yes, Dr. Kim.” Their mentor confirmed before patting his distraught intern on the shoulder.

Damn. They were right.” Baekhyun exclaimed all of a sudden.

“You burn She-Kim, She-Kim burns you back. It is just ten times worse.”

“Jongin!” Junmyeon’s anxious voice bounced off the walls of the hallway they were standing in before anyone could respond to Baekhyun.

“Why is she here?”

“Who?” Jongin questioned with an irritated sigh.

“Go Dahee. Room number 24.” Junmyeon hissed while casting a disgruntled look over his shoulder as if the very name of the patient repelled him.

“You mean your ex-high school girlfriend.”

“Don’t be so loud.” It was funny to see someone like Junmyeon, who was always so composed, losing his shit.

“Joohyun saw her before me and I don’t know what Dahee said to her. To make matters worse, my ex is now a divorce attorney who offered her business card to me right in front of my wife who is currently not talking to me. How is any of that my fault?”

“Did you take the card?” The question was out in the open before Sehun could stop himself. He didn’t necessarily regret it.

“Yes…?” Junmyeon confirmed with his brows furrowed in confusion.

“What man takes a business card from a divorce attorney – who is also his ex – right in front of his wife? I would have given you a solid slap across your face if I was in Dr. Bae’s place…but then again I am a bit of a drama queen.” Sehun stepped aside with a wince when Baekhyun elbowed him in the stomach.

“What? He was the one who asked the question. I am simply telling him his fault.” He grumbled while glaring at his friend who was non-verbally asking him to shut up with his eyes.

“Okay,” Jongin interfered before things could escalate any further and directed an entertained smile towards Sehun.

“Let Joohyun cool down and then try to talk to her. You know how she is. Plus, I think you owe Jongdae an apology. She took all your anger out on him.”

“This is such a mess.” Junmyeon groaned miserably and brought a hand up to massage his temples.

“I don’t care. Do whatever and just get her out of this hospital as soon as you can. She is not the person I want to come across daily and if I do then I’m not the person you want to come across at all. Bye!”

“Well…that went well,” Kyungsoo remarked drily with disapproval written all over his face. Their Chief sounded more like a panicked rooster than their boss which in normal circumstances they would have enjoyed, but sadly, one of them has already fallen victim to the clash between an angry wife and a troublesome ex.

“How is the Chief’s ex any of our business?”

“He is your boss.” Jongin expounded as if that fact alone explained everything – unfortunately, it really did – before shaking his head.

“Dr. Kim you should go and join Dr. Bae. If possible, for the sake of my and your own sanity, make sure she stays away from patient Go Dahee.” Jongdae scowled in displeasure, but other than that he gave no reaction and bowed his head in slight respect before eventually leaving.

Jongin turned to face his remaining interns right away.

“Let’s start our rounds. We are already late because of the circumstances that I would have liked to evade.”

“Tell me about it.” Kyungsoo groused under his breath as their mentor turned his back on them, without waiting for an answer, and entered the first room in the hall. Rolling his eyes, Sehun did the same and almost choked on his spit the second he heard the explicit moans that were reverberating inside the room.

“What the hell?” Baekhyun was the first one who vocalized his disbelief.

“Patients are allowed to watch porn inside our hospital?”

“No, they are not.” Jongin gritted out, looking just about done with everything. Sehun couldn’t help but feel a little sad for him.

“Mr. Kang here is a special case. It was Dr. Wu who suggested this method since the endorphins released help him cope with the chronic pain.”

“Ah- I am sorry.” Mr. Kang appeared rather embarrassed.

“This is not something I like, but I didn’t have a choice.”

“No need to apologize. This is one interesting method.” Kyungsoo commented, looking amused, before tilting his head to the side.

“Damn, that is a difficult position.” He went on while intently eyeing the image of the debauched couple on the screen.

“Is that even possible?” Baekhyun needled with furrowed brows before crossing his arms.

“Looks pretty awkward to me.”

“Oh, trust me, it is possible.” Sehun pitched in his two scents without any hesitance.

“You just got to be a little flexible. I have tried that position-”

The sudden noise of Jongin clearing his throat reminded the three interns that they were at the hospital and were supposedly doing rounds with their mentor.

Right.

They can discuss what positions were possible during sex some other time.

“The three of you.” Jongin gritted out, looking as displeased as one person could.

“Out. In the hall. Now!”

……………

It was needless to say that none of them escaped the situation unscathed which, to be honest, wasn’t surprising in the least because their mentor didn’t seem to in the best of his moods that day. He had looked royally pissed when he came out of Mr. Kang’s room and have railed on and on about professionalism and workplace ethics while they stood in the hallway with their backs to the wall, head hanging low in shame, like some preschoolers who have created mischief in the class.

 

“What kind of image do you think Mr. Kang will draw of our hospital in front of others now? That we have pretty doctors who are flexible during sex?!”

 

Now, Sehun has enough decency to feel embarrassed, but that was quickly overshadowed by the fact that Jongin had called him pretty whether deliberately or in the heat of the moment. It didn’t really matter. What mattered was the warmth that has flooded his system and has liberally stayed there inside him – making him feel strangely happy – throughout the rest of the day while he was shadowing his mentor. Sehun was sure that it was the only thing that kept him going for the next few hours where he has assisted the other male, one surgery after another in a row.

It was seven hours and four surgeries later that Jongin finally told him to go and take a break.

“You look like you need it.”

Is what he has been told and Sehun was more than ready to oblige – really it has been an exhausting day – but he changed his mind when he caught the other male entering his office rather than going to the cafeteria. Earlier in the day, Sehun has seen a pile of patient histories sitting on Jongin’s desk and held no doubt that his mentor was going to work on them instead of taking some time off as any normal person should have. Moreover, he has heard from Nurse Zhang that Jongin has taken over an extra shift a day before and even that morning he was called in earlier because of an emergency case. It was a wonder how his mentor was still working and standing on his two legs. Sehun would have dropped dead – he just knew himself too well – which was why for the first time in his life, without creating any chaotic dialogues in his mind, he has decided to do something nice.

Yes.

Nice.

Shocking, but true.

He hastily made his way to the cafeteria. Bought two large cups of espresso – one for himself and the other one for Jongin – and ordered two chicken sandwiches while pointedly ignoring the curious stares of his friends. He would have loved to sit with them and unwind a little (maybe even ask them about their day, especially Jongdae), but ultimately convinced himself that it was something that he could do later on when they returned home – perks of living together – and Jongin most probably would appreciate the coffee and sandwich while he still had some time to spare.

“Sehun?” Of course, he would bump into Kyungsoo right when he was confident of his stealthy escape without any confrontation.

“Oh, hey, Kyungsoo.” Sehun greeted with a weak smile while carefully balancing the tray in his hands.

“Are you not going to come and eat with us?” His friend appeared genuinely confused and carefully eyed the food.

“Why did you brought two cups of coffee? There is an extra sandwich too.”

“This…” Sehun looked down at his hands and cleared his throat.

“The extras are for Dr. Kim.” It was almost funny, the way Kyungsoo’s eyebrows flew up in surprise.

“Dr. Kim? You mean, Jongin?”

“Yeah…he took an extra shift yesterday and this morning he was called in early. Ever since our rounds, he has been in four consecutive surgeries and one of them was quite an exhausting procedure. Trust me I assisted him so I will know. He seriously looks like he can use some food in his system, but I am not sure he will be getting it on his own with how busy he seemed when I left.” Sehun elaborated honestly, knowing that there was no point in lying.

“I see,” Kyungsoo responded with a subtle nod of his head. There was a certain glint in his eyes, a certain expression on his face, which he couldn’t quite decipher, but that was again something that he could focus on later.

“I am sure Dr. Kim will appreciate it, Sehunnie. That is very nice and thoughtful of you.”

“I am not nice and thoughtful though.” Sehun denied almost right away which earned him a fond chuckle from his friend.

“You keep telling yourself that just like you keep on telling Baekhyun that you hate his cuddles.”

Sehun concluded that it was in the best of his interests if he didn’t respond to that.


“Come in!” Jongin’s gruff voice reached his ears a moment after he was done knocking on the door. Taking a deep breath, Sehun shifted the tray to his right (dominant) hand and used the other one to carefully push open the door.

“Dr. Kim?” He called out sounding humiliatingly meek.

“Dr. Oh,” His mentor appeared genuinely surprised to see him.

“Is there something I can help you with?”

“Umm…” Sehun wasn’t really sure how he was supposed to explain himself.

“Are you busy?” What the hell was he even doing?

“I am afraid, yes,” Jongin responded with his brows furrowed in confusion and put down the pen in his hand. Sehun tried his best not to stare when the other male leaned back in his chair and craned his neck to the side to relieve some tension in his muscles. It should be illegal for someone to look so good in rumpled blue scrubs and wired glasses.

“What are you still doing here? I gave you a break. You should rest and eat while you can because I have more Surgeries scheduled. It is going to be hectic.” Rubbing the side of his neck, Jongin sluggishly turned to face him.

“Actually…you are not too tired, are you? You should let me know I will ask Baekhyun to scrub in with me-”

“I brought you food.” Sehun burst out in a slightly squeaky voice – which he hoped Jongin wouldn’t notice – even before the other male could finish whatever he was saying.

“Excuse me?” From the look on his face, it was fairly obvious that his mentor wasn’t expecting to hear that.

“Food?” Sehun repeated doubtfully.  

“As in I brought you a chicken sandwich – I can go and get it changed if you don’t like it – and a cup of coffee.”

“Why?” Jongin inquired with a ticked brow but nonetheless, he still beckoned him to walk inside and place the tray on the desk.

“Why not?” Sehun shot back lamely before clearing his throat.

“I mean, it looked like you could use some food and it didn’t appear to me that you were going to get some anytime soon so I did the honors.”

“I am touched by your concern.” He wasn’t sure whether his mentor was being serious or not; judging by the crooked smirk on his lips it was easy to conclude that the other male wasn’t as touched as he claimed to be. Still, there was no way for him to be sure. Sehun was never good at deciphering ‘nice’ emotions. Plus, Dr. Kim never really said things unless he really meant them so it was all a confusing and contradicting mess.

“Are you going to join me, Dr. Oh?”

“Uh- if you want me to?” There was nothing on Jongin’s face that gave away what he was thinking at that moment, but Sehun hoped that it was something pleasant, especially if he was to go by the sudden sparkle that has entered the other male’s eyes.

“Sit down and eat. I don’t think you should waste more of your time by going back to the cafeteria again.”

“And I think you should start eating right away and put that work aside. At the rate you are going, your body will collapse.” Those words left Sehun’s lips even before he could think of stopping himself and it took him a moment too long to realize that he has said something that maybe he shouldn’t have. Embarrassment burned his face when he received no response from his mentor and, for a second, made him wonder if it was too late to book it out of the office by then. Realizing that it will just make the matters worse, Sehun simply cleared his throat and emphatically avoided making any sort of eye contact as he unceremoniously sat down on the plush chair adjacent to the other.

“Careful there, Sehun.” Jongin cautioned, all of a sudden, sounding as nonchalant as one person could, and reached out to take one of the sandwiches.

“I might get the impression that you care about me.” Oh, how he wished to slap that smug smirk off his mentor’s unfairly handsome face? Scowling in offense (it was an attempt to hide his mortification), Sehun tried his best to keep his face from heating up and reached out for one of the coffee cups.

“Screw you.” He murmured almost inaudibly, but as his rotten luck would have it Jongin still somehow managed to hear.

“I know you want to, but now is not the time.” It was almost painful to watch the other male casually biting into his sandwich as if he hadn’t said something that could be considered extremely inappropriate.

“I-I did not mean it like that!” The flustered intern sputtered, narrowly stopping himself from spilling his coffee.

“By the way, I do the screwing.” It was almost as if Jongin hasn’t even heard him.

“What is wrong with you?” Sehun demanded incredulously and curbed down the urge to cup his heated cheeks which he knew were flushed red at that moment.

“Also, I can show you a lot more interesting positions than the one you guys were discussing in the morning.” That’s it. Sehun’s brain conveniently short-circuited as soon as he heard that. He couldn’t even bring himself to respond because he was too busy blanching at his mentor.

“Anyway, you should drink your coffee while it is still hot.” Jongin pointed out kindly before taking another bite.

“You are absolutely s-shameless.” Sehun accused with a burning countenance. His face was literally on fire by that point.

“I don’t know, Dr. Oh.” Jongin mused feigning to be somewhere deep in his thoughts. The amused glint in his eyes was really hard to miss. It literally caused his eyes to sparkle.

“You haven’t really seen me getting shameless…yet.”

“What is that supposed to mean?” He couldn’t believe that he was actually having that conversation with his mentor – his boss – and it was not just some warped dream.

“I wonder what.” Jongin offered cryptically before once again picking up his pen.

“You should really start with your sandwich. We only have half an hour before the next Surgery. The schedule board is going to be really packed for the next few days so we can’t even delay any procedure.”

“How do you know that?” Despite wanting to push the other male for an answer he decided to let the matter go and focused more on the schedule board that was suddenly brought up.

“Thanksgiving is coming up. People do all sort of stupid stuff during the holiday season and sadly as a doctor, we have to take care of them.” Sehun tipped his head to the side slightly.

“Really? What is the worst you have ever gotten?”

“ER is mostly full during these times so it is hard to single out anyone, but if I must…” Jongin trailed off with a contemplative hum.

“Last year there was a kid who blinded his cousin for a day with a nerf gun and then there was this guy who severed his finger while cutting Turkey. I think there was also this couple who got a bit too excited by the holiday spirit. The guy ended up fracturing his penis.”

“Ouch.” Sehun winced sympathetically.

“Ouch, indeed,” Jongin affirmed blankly before shaking his head and shooting a teasing smirk his way.

“I got a very interesting case of a drunkard last year too, but it was on Christmas.”

Eat your food.”


Sometimes, Sehun thought that whoever maintained the balance of justice in the universe was doing a very shitty job…or that he was extremely prejudiced against the doctors. One would say that after spending the most exciting years of his youth cooped up in libraries and study rooms instead of having fun, like any sane person, just so he could become a doctor and save lives would place his name in the good books, but no. Things sadly didn’t work that way. If they did then Sehun wouldn’t be feeling like death himself visited him in the sleep.

“You are being stupid,” Kyungsoo remarked with the roll of his eyes as they walked down the hall.

“Just because you are a doctor doesn’t mean you can’t get sick.”

“How is that fair?” Sehun held his ground firmly – petulantly.

“I cure people and save their lives. The least this stupid universe can do to reward me is to not make me sick while I have shifts bleeding into ungodly hours of the day.”

“Your logic is bullshit,” Kyungsoo grumbled while rubbing his temples in annoyance.

“Plus, we told you to take a day off. We have been asking you to do that for the past three days now. Your fever isn’t going anywhere which is pretty concerning. You won’t even let one of us examine you.”

“I am a doctor myself. Why will I have other people examining me? It is pretty standard stuff. I am taking the medicines and should get well in a day or so.” Sehun defended himself before pulling out his phone to check the time. He was not going to tell anyone that his fever at the moment was concurringly high and his bones were positively aching. Knowing Kyungsoo and his tendency to act like a mother Hen, he was never going to hear the end of it.

“You said that three days ago too.” His friend pointed out not looking pleased or placated at all.

“It will get better, don’t worry,” Sehun mumbled under his breath in a somewhat distracted manner and pocketed his phone again.

“I will see you later?”

“Do I have a choice?” Kyungsoo bit back with a ticked brow.

“We go home together, in case you forgot.”

“Touché, Kyungsoo. Touché.

“Just be careful, okay?” His companion finally conceded with a sigh. Sehun bit down on his bottom lip to keep himself from smiling.

“Don’t burn yourself out.”

“I promise, I won’t.”

…………


All promises were meant to be broken, right? At least, that was the excuse that Sehun was going to give to Kyungsoo later when they meet to go home. His friend would surely understand, especially considering the fact that Sehun didn’t have much of a choice, to begin with. His duty was in the ER and with it being the holiday season – like Jongin said Thanksgiving brought in an influx of idiots – things were extremely hectic. Moreover, for some reason (it better be a good one or so god help him) the other intern who was supposed to be at the duty with him was nowhere to be found. Sehun has paged the guy a minimum of fifteen times, but he still didn’t show up. The nurses and techs haven’t had much luck in the matter either and with it being so full and busy in the ER none of them had the time at hand to go and look for the guy personally. Everyone else has their own things to do – as they should – so there was no one to even help him.

As ridiculous as it sounded, Sehun was manning the brimming ER all on his own with much-appreciated assistance from the nurses and techs and even though he was handling it all well, still the added pressure and stress wasn’t doing his ailed body any favors.

He was ready to collapse in exhaustion.

“Dr. Oh!” Sooyoung called out to him, sounding a bit panicked, as soon as she entered the station he was at.

“What is it, Nurse Park?” Sehun inquired calmly – he did his best not to sound like he was at his wit’s end – and tried not to get sidetracked as he administered the final stitch on what previously was a gaping wound on his patient’s arm.

“We need you at station thirty. It is an emergency.”

“Did you page Dr. Jung?” The silence that followed his question gave the tired intern the needed answer even before Sooyoung spoke up.

“We did, but he didn’t answer his page.” Sehun heaved a sigh before getting up from his place.

“Okay, can you get a nurse here to look over this patient?”

“I will see to it, Dr. Oh, but you really need to make haste.” Nodding his head, Sehun quickly followed Sooyoung’s sprinting figure and curbed the urge to cover his ears when the loud beeping of the heart monitor irritated his already vexed nerves.

“No, no! Jae stay with me.” The shrill, feminine voice that rang inside the room as soon as they entered had him wincing.

“Do something for god’s sake! Why are you just standing there?” Sehun was more than certain that the semi-insult was aimed at him and in normal circumstances maybe he would have been more understanding. Really, he wouldn’t have felt as annoyed as he was feeling at that moment, but the high fever he was currently supporting was playing with his head and emotions. Still, pushing down his irritation he decided to be the bigger person there and conveniently ignored the screaming lady in favor of facing Sooyoung.

“What do we have here?”

“His pressure plummeted to 64/22. He has runs for V-tach that aren’t perfusing. CVP is sky-high.” Nurse Min, who was keeping an eye on the heart monitor, briefed without missing a beat.

“Give him dopamine. Ten mikes.” Sehun instructed while making his way towards the bed.

“He is already maxed out.” Sooyoung provided with a sigh and stepped to the side to make room for him.

“Dr. Park performed Sternotomy on him yesterday. It seems like he is facing some post-op complications.”

“Does he have myocardial ischemia?” Nodding his head, Sehun reached out for the patient history.

“No, it is a clot. A big one-”

“Do something!” The lady from before demanded, effectively cutting Nurse Min off.

“What is wrong with you?”

“What is she still doing here? Get her out of here!” Sehun boomed in agitation before turning back towards the patient whose condition was worsening with every passing minute.

“No, please!”

“Ma’am you have to step out of here.” Sooyoung insisted while closing the curtains.

“Let me stay-”

“Your husband will be alright. You are not letting us do our jobs. Please, stay outside.” That seemed to have worked because they heard no other protests. Sehun was ready to hug the living daylights out of Sooyoung.

“Dr. Oh, his pressure is dropping further.” Nurse Min announced just in time he finished that thought.

Right.

They have a situation at hand.

The kind of situation he was not yet experienced enough to handle.

“Page someone! Page anyone! Where the hell is the other doctor on duty?” His calm demeanor dissolved completely. This was not going to end well. He was not in the condition to handle the situation. They needed an experienced attendee.

“Someone go get Dr. Park.”

“The patient will be dead before he gets here. You have to open him up. Right here, right now.” Nurse Min objected strongly.

“I can’t! I have never seen it done. I might kill him.” Sehun voice was laced with obvious panic.

“Do nothing and you will kill him faster.” There was a no-nonsense lilt to Nurse Min’s tone as she reached out to grab gloves for him.

“You are a very capable doctor. Take a deep breath Dr. Oh and let’s save this man.” Sehun closed his eyes in a poor attempt to collect his nerves and fisted his hands to stop them from shaking. He wasn’t sure. He wasn’t ready, but he needed to save Jae. He was the only one who had the authority to do something. He was the only one who can save the patient and he was not going to just give up without trying.

“Okay…okay! Move out of the way. Let me cut the stitches and remove the staples. Keep an eye on the vitals.”

……………

“Kim Jaemin, the post-op patient in station thirty, I had to open his Sternotomy bedside,” Sehun announced the moment he stepped inside the OR where Dr. Park was currently performing an Open-Heart surgery and was not particularly surprised when everyone turned to face him, stunned.

“You what?” Dr. Park demanded incredulously before looking at someone on his left. Sehun followed his line of vision and raised his brows in surprise when he noticed that Jongin was present there as well and from how things appeared it seemed like he was done with whatever procedure he has been called in for.

“Mr. Kim went into Cardiac Tamponade all of a sudden.” Sehun began again once he was sure that the information has properly sunk in.

“His chest films this morning were clear.” Dr. Park stated with furrowed brows.

“They were clear which was why it was extremely unexpected.” The intern agreed before shifting in his place uncomfortably.

“It happened fast. Our pages weren’t being answered and we had no time to personally get anyone. He was in PEA.”

“I see…” Chanyeol nodded his head in acknowledgment.

“Is he stable right now?”

“Yes, Nurse Min recommended that I get an attendee to check up on the patient and his condition before closing him up again.”

“That was a great suggestion and since I am done I will do the honors, Dr. Oh.” Jongin offered before taking off his gloves.

“Lead the way.”

.....................

“It is messy.” Sehun felt his face burning though he wasn’t sure whether it was because of Jongin’s words or his fever. Considering the fact, his gaze was practically doubling in front of him maybe it was safe to say that it was the latter.

“Dr. Oh?” His mentor prompted when he gave no response.

“Are you alright?”

“I am sorry…”

“What for? You saved his life.” Jongin inquired with a frown before looking around.

“There are supposed to be two doctors in the ER. Where is the other doctor-on-call?”

“I…I don’t know.” What else was he supposed to say?

“Wasn’t he paged?” Sehun knew if he confirmed that the doctor on call practically ignored his page for more than three hours was definitely going to cost the other intern his position in the program. Now, he was by no means selfless, but he also didn’t want to be known as the guy who got someone kicked out.

“Dr. Oh. I asked you a question.”

“Umm…” Hesitating for a moment, Sehun decided to just tell. It wasn’t like the nurses weren’t going to report what happened to the authorities anyway. He also didn’t have the energy to come up with an excuse or a lie.

“Yes, the nurses paged him. I did a few times too.”

“How long have you been handling the ER alone?” Jongin’s eyes shifted up to take in his exhausted, frizzled form.

“A-About three and a half hours now.” Sehun fixed his gaze on the floor when he saw his mentor’s brows knitting. From his peripheral vision, he caught the other male taking in the spectacle of the swarming patients that have been tended to and those that are still waiting.

“Call the head nurse for me,” Jongin demanded gruffly, his lips set in a hard, displeased line.

“After that go home. You have done enough work for today.”

“But-”

“Go!” Jumping in surprise, Sehun owlishly blinked his eyes.

“O-Okay…good night, Dr. Kim.”

“Good night.”

………………

“Sehun!” Baekhyun’s bright voice halted the said male in his steps. Rubbing a palm over his face, Sehun held the railing of the stairs to keep himself from swaying and tried to focus on his friend’s shorter frame. Next to Baekhyun stood their mentor who was carefully observing him with hawk eyes.

“I heard from Dr. Kim that you are leaving early today. Are you taking the car?”

“No…” Sehun answered weakly before walking down one step which took more effort than he would ever like to admit.

“Actually, I was looking for one of you to hand over the keys. I am going to take a cab home.”

“Are you alright? You don’t look too good to me. Is your fever acting up again? Didn’t we tell you to take a day off?” Baekhyun rambled on while stepping closer to the stairs with worry painted all over his face.

“Do you want me to come home with you?”

“I am fin…” Sehun trailed off when darkness clouded his mind and made everything around him spin.

“Dr. Oh?” Jongin called out in alarm.

“Baek, you…y-you don’t need-” It was inevitable, really, when his consciousness lapsed entirely and sent him stumbling down the stairs. He would have most probably busted his head open down the way if someone hadn’t caught him on time.

“Sehun!” Baekhyun’s panic shout was the last thing he heard before the endless abyss of unconscious swallowed him whole.   


“I don’t think you are supposed to be standing here.” Whipping his head around, Sehun faced the entrance of the small balcony and self-consciously cleared his throat when he saw Jongin standing there with his arms crossed.

“Actually, forget about thinking…as your doctor I know for a fact that you are supposed to be inside your room, resting like any other patient in this hospital.”

“Umm…I wasn’t feeling sleepy so I decided to come out for some fresh air.” Judging by the skeptical raise of his brow, Sehun was sure that the other male wasn’t convinced at all.

“As far as I know, Baekhyun, Kyungsoo, and Jongdae – all three of them – kicked up a pretty big fuss about not leaving you alone tonight. They should be in the room. Instead of coming out here alone on a sprained ankle, you should have asked for their help.”

“They were sleeping and looked absolutely exhausted. It is bad enough that they are spending the night here in those uncomfortable chairs for me when they should be resting at home. I didn’t want to disturb their slumber as well.” Sehun broke off to gaze down at his bandaged foot.

“Plus, the sprain doesn’t feel that bad. I can walk around on my own.”

“That is for your doctor to decide which, unfortunately for you, is me and I don’t want you walking around on your injured ankle lest you make it worst.” Jongin, like the smart-ass he was, pointed out before stepping out in the balcony as well.

“I am a doctor myself…” Sehun complained under his breath and carefully leaned against the railing. The cold metal was sort of biting against his warm skin, but it was a welcome distraction from his mentor’s imposing presence beside him. Plus, it kept him from thinking about just how beautiful Jongin looked under the pale light of the Moon.

“Yes, the one who was foolish enough to not get his fever treated even after three whole days.” The other male jabbed with a snort.

“You didn’t bother to think about the cause, did you?”

“I thought it will go away on its own.”

“And you are telling me that to justify what you did…or in this case, didn’t do?” Jongin dared with a ticked brow making Sehun flush in embarrassment.

“It has been busy lately. I didn’t have enough time or energy to think about it and I didn’t want to bother my friends with it too because they have been just as drained as me.” He divulged with a sigh, deciding that there was no way around it other than speaking the truth.

“Dr. Oh, contrary to the popular belief, as a physician or a Surgeon your utmost priority should be your own health. You will only be able to properly treat other people when you are healthy yourself. Otherwise, you are liable to make big mistakes and blunders. You cannot take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself. It is as simple as that.” Sehun wasn’t sure if it was really as simple as his mentor was making it look.

“It is okay if you let others take care of you sometimes.” Jongin continued confidently as if he had him figured out completely which, to be honest, was a terrifying prospect.

“You don’t always have to fret over whether you are causing inconvenience to your friends, especially when they want to take care of you. That is what friends do. Look at it this way, if you had sought their help in time then nothing of this sort would have happened. All of you would have been at your home resting comfortably.”

“I guess…” Sehun gave in hesitantly with a contemplative hum. Truth be told, he was having a hard time wrapping his mind around the fact that it was Jongin with whom he was having that conversation. Life truly was unpredictable.

“It’s just that I am not used to this – you know, people taking care of me, fussing over me, or going out of their way to ask after my health simply to make sure I am not alone and properly taken care of…it’s overwhelming.”

“In a bad way?”

“Not necessarily.” It wasn’t bad. Sehun was sure of it. The gratitude that he has felt towards his friends while they were all fretting over his health or when they were scolding him for being so stubborn and careless wasn’t something that he would dub as negative. The warmth that has spread from his heart towards every single nerve ending of his body when Chanyeol, Minseok, and Joohyun have visited his room with their well-wishes of ‘get well soon’ wasn’t negative either. He also hadn’t minded the chaotic fifteen minutes that Luhan has spent in his room along with Yifan and Yixing even when the elder male had been loud as hell.

“It is nice actually…in a weird sort of way.”

“Then maybe you should go with the flow of it. There is nothing to lose.” Jongin suggested with a chuckle before straightening up and pocketing his hands.

“Head inside now, Sehun. You need to rest.”

“Speaking of which,” Sehun pulled away from the railing and curiously looked up at his mentor.

“Weren’t you going to head home early today? What are you still doing here?”

“I stayed back to look over a clumsy patient,” Jongin informed breezily with the shrug of his shoulders making Sehun arch his brows in surprise.

“You stayed back for me?” He really couldn’t help the way his eyes widened or the way his cheeks colored up slightly.

“Did I?” Jongin mock-wondered before the corner of his lip went up a tad bit to form a subtle smirk.

“I have other patients too, Dr. Oh. What makes you think that I was talking about you?”

“Well…you did say a clumsy patient,” Sehun argued weakly, feeling humiliatingly shy for some reason, and tried his level best to stop his skin from flushing when his mentor grinned at him smugly.

“Get inside already or you will get cold.” Much to his relief, Jongin changed the course of their conversation rather than embarrassing him further.

“I will see you in the morning.”

“Uh- yeah, good night, Dr. Kim.”

“Good night.”


“I see, you are back.” Sehun lifted his head from the file in his hand to spare a glance to his left when he registered that it was him to whom that sentence was addressed and nodded his head with a hum upon seeing Joohyun.

“Yeah, staying at home for a week has been hell.” He wasn’t sure why he was being so frank with his senior attendee – the wife of his Chief on top of that – but over the course of the past few days that he has spent at home doing nothing (save from the occasional studying) Sehun had given a lot of thought to the conversation he had with his mentor on the balcony the other night. In the tranquil quiet and privacy of his room – without the chaotic energy of Jongdae and Baekhyun or the sarcastic comments of Kyungsoo disturbing him – he has reached the conclusion that Jongin was right. Maybe it was time he let go of things and just go with the flow instead of trying to control every aspect of his life.

He didn’t need to be so rigid.

He didn’t need to overthink.

It was a simple conversation anyway. Plus, Joohyun has been nice enough to ask after his health despite having no such obligation. He can at least return the favor by holding an amicable conversation with her in the high-stress environment of the hospital. It might do some good to both of them.

“Normally, people will consider it as a blessing.” Joohyun pointed out with a snort before leaning against the counter and facing him.

“How is your foot now?”

“All healed,” Sehun responded with a shrug.

“Honestly, it didn’t need a whole week to get better. I don’t get why everyone was so adamant that I take the long leave.”

“You did need it, Sehun.” Joohyun contradicted blankly before reaching out to take the file that Nurse Im has extended in her direction.

“Everyone here works hard, really, we need to, but from what I have seen you’re a bit too serious about it than others. It is necessarily not a bad thing, but it did impact your health in a bad way if you fainted like that. The week you got off wasn’t solely because Jongin wanted your ankle to heal, it was because he wanted you to relax since your body was clearly fatigued.”

“That is a bit contradicting, don’t you think so?” Sehun observed with an amused smirk.

“Dr. Kim is always telling us to work hard until we can’t anymore.” Joohyun let out a proper laugh at that.

“True…but the person who told you to work until you figuratively drop dead was your mentor and the one who forced you to take off was your doctor. There is a difference.”

“If you say so.” Sehun drawled with the playful roll of his eyes, looking as unconvinced as one person could.

“We will pretend that it is not because I will be of no use to him if I keep on fainting again and again.”

“That too is something I can’t deny.” Joohyun agreed with an airy chuckle.

“You will be of no use to me if you keep on standing by that station doing nothing too, Dr. Oh.” As if he somehow knew that Sehun was badmouthing him, Jongin – with impeccable timing – magically materialized by his right side.

“I was actually doing work.” Sehun defended himself and raised the blue file in his hand emphatically to show that he was, indeed, telling the truth.

“You were slacking off when I came.” His mentor pointed out with a ticked brow making Sehun frown.

“Well, I and Dr. Bae were having an important discussion.”

“Yeah, very important.” Joohyun supported his statement with a barely contained snort. If Sehun wasn’t wrong then she was clearly implying something, but being the ever clueless person when it comes to his surroundings, he wasn’t quite aware of what it was. Jongin, on the other hand, seemed to be having better deductions skills because he clearly got what she was referring to and wasn’t that happy about it given the scowl that was currently decorating his lips…and no, Sehun was not looking at his lips.

He was not.

“I don’t have time for this.” Jongin sighed in irritation before tapping his fingers against the counter of the station.

“Dr. Oh, complete your work here fast. You are going to assist Dr. Wu with a gun-shot wound patient. He is in OR three and afterward get Dr. Byun and go to OR one to assist the Chief. He is going to perform a liver transplant.”

“Noted, Dr. Kim,” Sehun responded monotonously while forcing himself to focus on the work at hand rather than how hot Jongin was looking with those damned wired glasses.

“We have a GSW patient? Is it a police case?” Joohyun inquired before finally straightening up in her place.

“No. Not, a police case,” Jongin informed with a frown.

“Remember that guy from the last year, the one with pain as his ethos?”

“The tattooed masochist?” Joohyun guessed with a crinkled nose, piquing Sehun’s interest.

“Yeah, that one. He is back again.”

“Glad to know he is still stupid.” Sehun scoffed under his breath.

“Sometimes your compassion for the patients is very shocking, Dr. Bae.”

“Dr. Oh, don’t forget that you are still an intern who can get his ass kicked by me.” Joohyun threatened breezily with a mock-angelic smile.

“Since we are on the topic of interns,” Jongin interfered before Sehun could make any sort of response.

“When are you returning Jongdae to me?”

“He is not coming back to you.” Sehun was the one who butted in that time.

“He is ready to worship the ground Dr. Bae walks on. I am sorry Dr. Kim, but you have been dethroned from the title of Jongdae’s favorite Surgeon ever.” The intern elaborated further when both the attendees turned to face him with questioning looks on their faces.

“I am flattered,” Joohyun claimed smugly.

“To say he thought OB/GYN was for female Surgeons only.”

“Yeah, well, now he is thinking of specializing in the field. Your magic must have worked on him.” Sehun revealed with a chuckle.

“I heard my name.” The subject of their discussion showed up by their side with a sunny smile.

“I was telling Dr. Bae that you are like a creep in love with her surgical skills and she should definitely stay away from you.”

“Ha. Ha. Funny, Sehun.” Jongdae deadpanned while handing over the pink folder in his hand to Nurse Im with a barely audible ‘thanks’.

“You don’t hear me talking about that wet dream-”

“Time for work!” Sehun’s voice, to his dismay, came out sounding a lot like a squeak though he figured that it was something he could be embarrassed about later. Right then he had more pressing concerns like keeping his friend’s mouth shut.

“Let’s go, Jongdae.” He couldn’t risk leaving Jongdae with Jongin; especially not when their mentor was already looking at them with a spark of curiosity and blatant suspicion in his eyes.

“Why should I go with you?” Jongdae questioned with a scoff.

“Because you are my friend-”

“Am I hearing things or did Jongdae actually mentioned something about a wet dream?” With the worst possible timing, Dr. Park appeared at the scene to make Sehun’s life miserable than it already was.

“I definitely heard him say wet dream.” Nurse Im added in helpfully from the opposite side of the station.

“Yoona, don’t you have work to do?” Sehun gritted out with a menacing glower. Sadly, it seemed to have fallen on deaf ears because Yoona’s lips lifted up in a cunning smirk.

“Now, that I think about it Baekhyun and Kyungsoo were discussing something about it yesterday by the station as well. I heard them mention your name Sehun and if I am not wrong they mentioned Jong-”

“Jongdae!” Sehun cut in hastily and glared at his friend – willing him to drop dead by his stare alone – with as much intensity as he could muster through the bouts of panic and mortification that was coursing through his system.

“Jongdae.” He repeated calmly when he received weird looks from everyone around him. It might have something to do with his loud volume.

“I think we should leave. We have something to do, remember?”

“I don’t really remember anything.” Jongdae denied with a teasing grin making Sehun curse the day he accidentally fell asleep in the living room of their house. It was the biggest mistake of his life, but in his defense, he was quite bored and alone – his friends were at the hospital on shift – and watching a movie had seemed like a nice way to kill some time before his housemates finally came back. Also, how could he have known that he would fall asleep halfway and to top it off he would end up having the first wet dream of his entire existence right in the middle of the living room where quite literally anyone can invade his privacy? If that wasn’t bad enough already the main protagonist of his wet dream was Jongin (surprise, surprise – no really it was a huge surprise for someone who was in denial for as long as Sehun) which made everything that much worst. He was caught off guard completely. It was by the virtue of his sheer bad luck that he ended up moaning Jongin’s name when his three friends were around and since then he hadn’t heard the end of it and apparently his friends couldn’t stop talking about it because even Nurse Im was aware of it.

Sehun was going to kill his friends.

Did they really have to make things so hard for him? It was already such a trying task to look Jongin in the eye without remembering that accursed dream.

“Come with me and I will remind you.” Sehun was sure there was a black-heavy cloud hanging over his head with crackling thunder and seriously if Jongdae valued his life he would listen to him without creating any more nuisance.

“Fine, let’s go. I happen to be assigned to OR five anyway.”

“Don’t forget you are to assist the Chief in OR one later, Dr. Oh.” Jongin reminded him just before he could escape with Jongdae. There was certain glint in his eye – something dark – that Sehun couldn’t even begin to decipher; not because he wasn’t smart, but because he couldn’t look straight into his mentor’s eyes without recalling the sinful words the dream version of Jongin has whispered right against his lips while looking deep into his brown orbs.

“I-I will remember, Dr. Kim.”

“Good, head over to Dr. Wu then.”

……………


“So…a little birdie named Luhan told me about you having a wet dream about a certain hot attendee in our hospital?” Sehun felt his left eye twitching in irritation (he hated little birdies, especially those named Luhan) as soon as he heard the question that Tao, the head of the tech. department of their hospital has so innocently thrown his way. Pursing his lips in disapproval, he gave the annoying male a blank look and wordlessly turned his gaze towards the new ECG machine (commonly known as heart monitor) that they were supposed to be testing. He wasn’t even going to ask how the other knew of it because by then the whole hospital was somehow aware of the fact that he had an accursed wet dream. Of course, it was all thanks to his useless friends who thought that it was a nice idea to talk about it while standing at the freaking nursing station out of all the places.

“Let’s just get it over with.” Tao has earlier asked for his help when they have met in the cafeteria and Sehun being the nice guy he was has agreed after he was bribed with a free and unlimited supply of chocolate milk for the next two days. Now, however, he was greatly regretting it; he should have at the very least made it a whole month of free supply of his favorite drink.

“What was the dream about anyway?”

What indeed…

 

Big.

Callous.

Rough.

The skilled hands of a surgeon that danced over his naked skin to a soundless melody set him ablaze.

“Look at you.” Jongin’s voice for some reason sounded hoarser and deeper than usual as he whispered those words against the shell of his left ear before delivering a sly and slithery lick. The moan that escaped Sehun’s lips sounded so wanton that it made his skin burn all over again, but for different reasons.

“S-Stop it. My ear! I am sensitive there.” His whiny protest was weak and pathetic.

“Hmm…” The vibration of Jongin’s hum shook every nerve fiber inside his body.

“I couldn’t tell.” There was a smug lilt to his voice. Sehun was sure that the other male was mocking him.

“Jongin~” The name slipped past his libs unbidden as Jongin latched his teeth on the lobe of his vulnerable and exposed ear–

 

“I see you are having fun remembering it.” Tao’s amused voice broke Sehun out of the sinful stupor that yet again managed to triumph over his better judgment and took control of his consciousness.

“I am not remembering it!”

“Your very red face says otherwise, Sehun.”

“My face is not red.” It was pointless to argue by that point, but Sehun still had some semblance of self-respect to preserve.

“Hey, Tao! We need you in the OR three.” Their fun – not really – conversation was cut short by Nurse Eiji’s frantic voice.

“It is an emergency. Hurry!”

“Got it!” Tao responded immediately. All signs of laughter or playfulness were gone from his face when he turned towards Sehun again.

“Can you please check this machine out for me? I have turned it on. You just have to observe it for the next five minutes to see if all the readings and functions are working properly.”

“Sure. Go now. They need you.”

“I owe you.”

“Stop talking about that accursed dream if you do.” Sehun gripped just before Tao stepped out of the station.

“I said I owed you…I never said I was going to or looking forward to paying the debt.”

“If I wasn’t worried about a patient’s life I would have hoped that you will fall down the stairs and break a leg.” Tao’s sharp laughter bounced off the walls as he stepped out, but he made no other response and disappeared down the hall within seconds.

“Honestly…I am going to kill them.” Baekhyun especially. He has a feeling that it was Byun’s loud mouth that was the root of all his misery at the moment.

“Who are you planning on killing, Dr. Oh?” Sehun almost flew off the hospital bed in shock as soon as he heard his mentor’s – the current protagonist of his wet dreams – familiar, deep voice.

“Oh…you know the urge to kill Baekhyun rises inside me quite regularly. There’s nothing new in that.” He responded awkwardly before clearing his throat. Lord! His heart was practically beating inside his throat. Few days off has thrown him off the loop completely. He was no longer used to the hotness that a certain Kim Jongin exuded…or maybe it was that damned wet dream.

“I see.” Jongin acknowledged listlessly before walking closer to him.

“Did you need something, Dr. Kim?” Sehun inquired nervously when his mentor refused to move his intense gaze away from his face.

Gosh.

What on Earth was wrong with him?

Why was he acting like a little girl with a crush?

He for sure hoped that his face was not red. Everything was embarrassing enough already.

“D-Dr. Kim?” He stuttered out in confusion and alarm when Jongin walked past the threshold of his personal space.

“Hmm…” The other male merely hummed as a response before leaning down. It took everything inside Sehun to not think about those soft and plump lips pressed up against his ear.

“Are you alright, Sehun?” No. He was not alright. Not at all. Why was this happening to him in the first place? Was he being punished for something? Why was Jongin calling him by his name?

“Y-Yeah. Why do you ask?” His heart was beating so loudly. Sehun was afraid that his mentor might actually hear it.

“Heh.” The airy chuckle, combined with that oh-so-confident smirk stole his breath away.

“Your heartbeat…is it usually this fast and loud?”

“What?!”

“In case you forgot, you are hooked up on the heart monitor. The rapid and loud beeps are rather concerning.” The teasing and cunning smile on his face seemed to be indicating otherwise. There was no concern in it at all. In fact, he looked almost excited like a little kid.

Sehun went rigid as a pole and bit down on his bottom lip when the heat started to rise to his cheeks.

“Shall I check you out?” Jongin continued smugly before lightly hooking the knuckle of his finger under his intern’s chin. His touch was almost like a ghost; it was gone even before Sehun realized it was there and left a burning heat in its wake.

“Dr. Kim!” The embarrassed intern tried to move as far away as possible when the heart monitor caught the slight lurch in the beating of his heart when Jongin touched him.

“Please maintain a professional distance from me.”

“How am I supposed to diagnose your disease and prescribe you a medicine if you won’t let me examine.” Jongin was having way too much fun at his expense. Sehun wanted to sock him in his conceited face.

“This is not a disease. There is nothing for you to be concerned about.”

“That is a relief.” The other male mock-acknowledged before cocking his head to the side in thought.

“If you don’t mind me asking what is the cause then? I find myself rather curious.”

“Don’t be. Curiosity killed the cat.”

“Curiosity? I thought it was denial. My bad.” With the shrug of his shoulders, Jongin casually walked out of the station leaving behind a gaping Sehun.

“I am not in denial!”


“Bed no. 34.” Minseok’s monotone voice announced before the curtain was promptly swept to the side.

“Oh! Dr. Byun and Dr. Oh. I didn’t know you were the interns attending to this patient.” The other male continued looking a bit surprised.

“Good afternoon, Dr. Kim.” Baekhyun greeted brightly before turning towards Jongin who as usual wasn’t being very generous with words or greetings.

“You too our dearest mentor.”

“I will assign you with rectal exams if you ever say that again, Byun.” Jongin threatened with a disgusted scowl before casting a brief glance in Sehun’s direction.

“Report.”

“Kwon Jaesuk. Twenty years old male with a problem of spontaneous orgasms. As you can see he was involved in an accident and has fractured his leg’s-”

“Oh. God.” Sehun’s report was cut short by Jaesuk’s sharp inhale. He was confused for a second before the thought that the poor guy was having yet another orgasm crossed his mind.

“Um…let’s just step out and give him some privacy.” Minseok suggested when he saw the embarrassed look on the patient’s face.

“Damn! That was one strong orgasm.” Baekhyun commented as soon as they stepped out and closed the curtain behind them.

“Is it wrong if I feel jealous?”

“Very,” Sehun commented dryly before heaving a sigh.

“But I get what you mean. Like, I don’t even remember when I had an orgasm last. This is not helping.”

“I know. Let’s go clubbing tonight. I will ask Kyungsoo and Jongdae too. We all deserve to get laid.” Baekhyun suggested with a sly wiggle of his brow.

“You-”

“I will appreciate it if you guys discuss your sex life somewhere else.” Jongin’s sharp voice and glare shut them up almost immediately. If looks could kill they would have been dead by now. Sehun gulped unconsciously when his mentor’s withering gaze fell on him.

“I will go ahead and examine the patient first.” With a sour expression on his face, Jongin once again disappeared behind the curtain.

“Damn! He is such a monster. He is against us having a sex life too now.” Baekhyun complained dramatically.

“I’d say that your sex life is none of Jongin’s business, Dr. Byun. Sadly, I can’t say the same for yours, Dr. Oh.” Minseok commented with a chuckle before giving Sehun an amused smirk.

“You guys should get back to work. I am going to examine the patient as well now.”

……………

“Baekhyun,” Sehun called out as soon as he opened the door to their locker room.

“Jongdae and Kyungsoo are– oh? Dr. Kim?”

“Dr. Oh.” Jongin greeted him apathetically before pushing his body off the bench he was sitting on.

“Do you need something from me, Dr. Kim?” What was he there and why was there no one else inside the room, but him?

“Not quite.”

“Umm…I think the others have gone towards the parking lot already if you were waiting for one of them.” Sehun informed, feeling strangely hot under the other male’s stare, before clumsily opening his locker.

“I wasn’t waiting for them.” For some reason, the air between them felt a lot more charged than usual.

“What are you doing here then?”

“I heard from Jongdae that you guys are going clubbing tonight.” Jongin never really beat around the bush, did he?

“Well, it kind of happened. Baekhyun was very persistent.” Sehun answered while reaching inside the locker to pull out his clothes. However, he halted dead in his tracks when he felt a sudden warmth against his back. They weren’t quite touching, but he was able to feel Jongin all the same.

“D-Dr. Kim, please step away from me.” Damn it! Here goes his heart again.

“That sounds like a fun plan.” His mentor didn’t particularly seem interested in obeying.

“Will you think about me, Sehun?” That was a strange question. So strange that Sehun, for a second, forgot his wildly beating heart and faced Jongin.

“What?”

“I asked if you will think about me when you are talking to the other guys.” The other male graciously repeated himself.

“N-No.”

Why should he?

It was another thing that Sehun wasn’t even planning on talking to strangers, let alone get laid. The idea just didn’t appeal to him anymore.

“Are you sure?” There was something dangerous glinting inside Jongin’s eyes as he tipped his head down to directly stare into his eyes.

“You really won’t think of me?”

“Absolutely not-mmph!” Sehun’s words of denial were unceremoniously cut short by a soft pair of lips that pressed against his’. His mind went entirely blank for a split second before the reality of what was happening slammed into him like a ton of bricks.

“Y-You-” He tried to speak. He really did. Even tried to push the other male away no matter how weak his resolve was, but Jongin simply took hold of his wrists and slammed him against the cold metal door of Kyungsoo’s locker. It must have hurt. It ought to, but he couldn’t really be sure because his mind was practically dancing from the kiss that he was refused a reprieve from. His heart was racing and his ears were ringing loudly. His surroundings became a blur as all his senses were slowly assaulted and dominated by everything Jongin. His lips, practiced and elegant in their glides, grew more and more insistent with each passing second until it seemed like his soul was being sucked out. Sehun felt his knees going weak as passion coursed through his veins like burning lava. Warm tongue, carrying the addicting taste of the bitter coffee, probed and coaxed his lips apart before slyly slithering its way inside his hot carven. With a whimper, he wrung his wrists – he really needed to hold onto something – that were held tightly in Jongin’s hold and tried to grasp onto what little sanity was left with him when he felt the press of the warm, hard, and sturdy body against his quivering one.

“Ah-” The choked gasp that left his lips once they were set free was a little embarrassing, but Sehun had more important matters to deal with; like the fact that he suddenly seemed to have forgotten how to breathe like a normal human being.

“Now you definitely will.” That smug statement and the satisfied look on Jongin’s face pulled him down from the cloud nine that he was floating on.

“Huh?” What was he going on about? More importantly, why did he kiss him? What the hell was he thinking? Why the hell did Sehun not stop him? No! Not only did he not stop the kiss, but he also responded to it.

“Now,” Jongin began shrewdly before bringing up his thumb to gently swipe it across Sehun’s tender lips.

“Try to not think about me now.” With that whispered challenge the other male stepped away from him with a taunting smile.

“Turned out, it was indeed denial that killed the cat.” Sehun possessed neither the presence of mind nor the energy to make a witty come back or response as he watched his mentor haughtily walking out of the locker room as if he has done nothing out of the norm.

“I am so fucked.”


“Stop pouting.”

“I am not pouting.”

“I don’t even have to look at you. I can feel you pouting.”

“I said I am not!”

“Sehun.” Kyungsoo heaved an irritated sigh and sat down on one of the chairs lining the kitchen counter.

“Are you going to tell me what the fuck is wrong with you or do I need to resort to violence? It is the freaking middle of the night. I will actually do it and no one will ever turn up to save you.” That threat was actually scary considering the fact that Jongdae and Baekhyun were drunk and out cold. Moreover, their rooms were on the second floor which meant that they might not even hear him screaming.

“Fine. I am pouting.”

“Finally. Be a good boy and tell me why.”

“Jongin and I made out,” Sehun revealed with a pained expression on his face as if he still couldn’t believe that it was a reality.

“Uh-huh.” Kyungsoo’s dispassionate response was very much appreciated.

“…against your locker, by the way.”

“You what?” That pulled out a very passionate reaction from his friend. In all honesty, he didn’t need to reveal that bit of information, but Sehun thought that it was only fair since Kyungsoo threatened to basically beat him up earlier.

“Not my fault. Jongin pushed me against it out of nowhere.”

“I will have to freaking disinfect it now.” His friend grumbled under his breath before facing him properly once again.

“Anyway, what is the problem? Haven’t you guys kissed already?”

“Kyungsoo! I was drunk back then and now Jongin is my boss.”

“And? We don’t have any rules against an intern and attendee dating…or in your case making out. Plus, you definitely have the hots for Dr. Kim, Sehun. There is no need to lose sleep over it.”

“I know.” Sehun vehemently agreed, not even bothering to deny his attraction towards Jongin anymore.

“It is just…just…you see it would have been fine if it was only attraction. I mean, I wouldn’t have thought about it much if I had reacted to him the way I usually did to these kinds of things, but Kyungsoo that guy made me go weak in the knees! He makes me feel so nervous and self-conscious. My heart was pounding so fast I thought it will jump out-”

“In other words, you have fallen for the guy.” His friend concluded looking as indifferent as one person could.

“I have not! He is just…I am just having a hard time…you know!” Kyungsoo did not look convinced at all.

“Yeah, yeah. You are all mushy and warm inside for the first time in your life and you are also full of secret feelings. Have a piece of chocolate cake.” Sehun looked down at the counter when his friend pushed a plate with a piece of chocolate cake in his direction. It was Kyungsoo’s comfort food. One that came out only when things were dire and nothing else could help. In other words, the other male too thought that he was fucked.

“Why are you eating chocolate cake in the middle of the night? What happened?” With a frown, Sehun reached out for the fork.

“Dr. Park,” Kyungsoo responded with a groan.

“What did he do?”

“Let’s just say you are not the only one with those disgusting, mushy feelings.”

“Noted.” Sehun knew not to ask probe the topic any further.


“Hello! Good morning.” Baekhyun, like the sunshine he was, greeted brightly as soon as they entered the patient’s room. The four of them were currently on the rounds with Jongin which meant that Sehun could no longer avoid his mentor like he has been doing all day long. What he can do was avoid looking in the other male’s direction so they won’t accidentally catch each other’s eye.

“It doesn’t seem like a very good morning to me.” The patient, a young girl about the age of fifteen or sixteen, replied with a bored expression on her face.

“I am going to have brain surgery today. Sounds pretty crappy to me. Plus, this room is stuffy and it ranks and the windows here don’t open.”

“Minji!” The woman who called out the girl’s name in warning must be her mother.

“Was I rude?” Minji inquired not appearing particularly apologetic.

“It is okay, Mrs. Seo. Minji we will see to your complaints about the room after we are done with the follow-up.” Jongin butted in before the unnecessary conversation could go any further.

“Dr. Do. You can start with your report.”

“Seo Minji, 17 years old female in for the removal of the brain tumor that’s pressing on her frontal temporal lobe. Clearly, it is affecting her impulse control.” Kyungsoo didn’t look happy with the girl at all. In fact, if you looked closely the irritation swimming in his eyes would be pretty obvious.

“It makes me say everything that is on my mind which is apparently annoying.” Minji interrupted with a frown.

“At least, this doctor looks annoyed with me although it is kind of hard to tell. I have been here for a day and every time I see him, he has this pissed-off expression on his face.” Sehun quickly disguised the laugh that escaped past his lips (unbidden) as an awkward cough. Jongdae and Baekhyun, on the other hand, weren’t so successful in suppressing their sounds of amusement and gained a certified ‘I will kill you’ look from Kyungsoo.

“Am I annoying you, Dr. Do?” Their trouble-making patient continued.

“It is fine.” It was almost impressive how Kyungsoo managed to sound so indifferent when he was actually seething inside.

“You shouldn’t lie like that.” Sehun wanted to ask Minji to shut up if she valued her life, but in the end, thought better of it. There was no use blaming her. She couldn’t really help it because of her medical condition.

“Fine.” Kyungsoo gave in with a shrug.

“You annoy me.”

“Kyungsoo!” Jongdae nudged him in the stomach with his elbow.

“What?” The chastised male protested with a scowl.

“She asked about it.”

“Okay! Everyone. Let’s move on.” Jongin once again put a stop to the nonsense going on around them.

“Hey, Dr. Kim Jongin.” Minji was apparently not done and turned her devious attention towards their mentor.

“Do you have a thing for Dr. Oh? You keep on looking at him and from the look in your eyes, you might as well mount him right here, right now. Not that I blame you. He is kind of hot.” Stupefied silence permeated the room. Sehun didn’t dare raise his eyes from the floor as he felt himself literally combusting in mortification. A little part of him was flattered and thrilled too, but let’s not go there. Now was not the time, especially when Baekhyun seemed to have suddenly caught a very bad cold. He just couldn’t stop coughing. Even though, he didn’t lift his head to look at his friends, Sehun was sure that Jongdae and Kyungsoo had very smug expressions on their faces. Jongin’s reaction was a mystery though since he couldn’t fathom how his always confident mentor would react to being called out like that.

“I am sorry. Was that rude?” Minji questioned once again when she got no response.

“No.” Jongin finally responded before clearing his throat.

“You just made some people very uncomfortable here.” Sehun had a feeling that instead of feeling embarrassed like him, the other party involved in the situation was actually enjoying the situation; a lot!

“I see. Dr. Oh, did I embarrass you?”

“Not at all.” Sehun gritted out with a fake smile.

“That smile is so forced that it makes me feel bad for you.” Minji pointed out in a blasé manner.

“There is nothing to feel bad about.” The nice smile on his face was beginning to slip.

“You know what? It looks like you have a thing for Dr. Kim too.” That’s it. Sehun was going to kill this girl; her medical condition be damned.

“You should get your eyes checked.”

“I think you should give him a chance.” Why the fuck was this girl flirting with him on Jongin’s behalf and why the fuck was Jongin not saying anything to stop her? The sadistic bastard was probably having the time of his life at his expense.

“That is not possible.”

“Why not?” Now, the devil decided to speak. Shooting a glare at his mentor, he blurted out the first thing that came to his mind.

“Because I am practicing abstinence.” Sehun wanted to wring his own neck the second those words left his lips. Kyungsoo looked like he would do that favor for him considering the ‘judging-you’ look that he was sending his way.

“What?” Baekhyun’s dramatic shout just added to the comic effect of the whole situation. Jongin merely raised a brow at him.

“Come on!” Minji didn’t seem convinced at all.

“You are practically sex on legs.” Sehun shot her a withering glare as heat started to climb up his face again.

“Well, this sex on legs has sworn off sex. Deal with it!”

“You didn’t happen to decide that last night, did you?” Jongin humored him with a daring smirk.

“That is beside the point.” Sehun bristled before crossing his arms.

“Whoever it may concern should know that I am practicing abstinence so they better not try anything funny with me.”

“Uh-huh.” Jongin didn’t appear fazed at all.

“I am being serious.” He asserted again.

“No sex, no drinking, and no kissing. I am going to be knitting ugly Christmas sweaters for everyone!”

“Dude…” Jongdae started hesitantly.

“You are not drunk, are you?”

…………………

“I still can’t believe he wasn’t drunk when he said that,” Jongdae muttered under his breath with a frown while staring at Sehun who was busy knitting while giving zero fucks about his surroundings.

“I don’t know what is more disturbing. Sehun actually going forward with all this abstinence nonsense or Kyungsoo joining him in his little ‘I am going to knit ugly Christmas sweaters’ fiasco.” Baekhyun grimaced while taking another swig out of his coffee cup.

“What is wrong with you guys?” He demanded before slamming his cup on the table.

“Something is totally off here.”

“I second that.” Jongdae agreed while looking around the cafeteria.

“You guys stop with it already. Everyone is looking at us.”

“Who the fuck cares about that?” Kyungsoo deadpanned.

“I am on a break right now. I can do whatever the hell I want in my free time. They should have nothing against my ugly sweaters.”

“Why are you knitting ugly sweaters in the first place?” Baekhyun was ready to slam his head against the wall.

“I am doing it to guard my chastity,” Sehun revealed at last and looked up from the needles in his hand.

“Kim Jongin will not succeed in getting inside my pants. I will knit sweaters to ward him off.”

“Heh.” The expression on Jongdae’s face suggested that he wasn’t sure whether he was supposed to cry or laugh.

“Who is threatening your chastity, Kyungsoo?”

“A pest named Park Chanyeol.”

“Glad to hear your kind words for me, Dr. Do.” As if magically summoned, Chanyeol appeared before their sights wearing a teasing smile.

“Jongin you must be feeling as delighted as me. Sehun and Kyungsoo took up knitting in our honor.” Sehun tried his best to ignore a certain Kim Jongin and started to furiously move his hands as if that would somehow keep his attraction for his mentor on the low.

“I will certainly like to receive the very first sweater if that is the case,” Jongin replied dryly while eyeing Sehun with narrowed eyes. To be honest, he thought that his intern was simply spouting nonsense when he said that he was abstaining, but things were starting to seem more and more serious which was starting to get on his nerves. They were obviously into each other. He was certain that things would move in a good direction after their kiss in the locker room, but evidently, he has overlooked Sehun’s tendency to be emotionally inept.

“What do you want?” Kyungsoo grumbled under his breath without moving his gaze away from the sweater he was knitting.

“You know what I want.” Chanyeol countered in a breezy manner before bending down and placing a hand on Kyungsoo’s shoulder.

“It is about time you give in, Kyungsoo. What you are doing is very childish.” Sehun watched from the corner of his eyes as his friend’s hands froze mid-action.

“Take your hand off my shoulder or so lord help me I am going to skewer your eyes with these needles, Dr. Park.”

“Kinky,” Chanyeol commented seemingly as undeterred as one person could be.

“Plus that blush on your face is very cute.”

“Dr. Kim this is workplace harassment!” Kyungsoo objected while looking at his mentor with blazing eyes.

“What you and Dr. Oh are doing is harassment to mankind,” Jongin muttered bitterly before grabbing Chanyeol’s arm.

“You are in the hospital, Chanyeol. Be a little more professional.”

“Okay. Fine.” Chanyeol relented begrudgingly and sat down on the chair next to Kyungsoo.

“We had some free time so we came to the cafeteria.”

“I seem to have forgotten the part where any of us invited you to join our table.” Sehun jibed after placing his needles and the half-done sweater on the table.

“Always so welcoming, Dr. Oh.” Jongin jibed back before taking a seat next to Baekhyun. Unfortunately, that meant he was sitting right in front of him.

“I try.” Sehun threw his mentor a mocking smile and reached out for the fries that were going cold in his tray of food.

“Anyway.” Chanyeol ignored their little spat and turned towards Baekhyun and Jongdae.

“Christmas is within a week. What are you guys planning to do?”

“I am going back to Busan. My mom threatened to disown me if I didn’t show up at the family dinner.” Baekhyun answered while stuffing his face with the burger.

“Sounds rough,” Jongdae noted before letting out a sigh.

“I have to go back to my hometown too. Need to bring some stuff here. Christmas holidays are the best opportunity to do that. Dinner with family is a bonus.”

“What about you, Kyungsoo?” Chanyeol turned to face Kyungsoo who gave him a scowl.

“Stop being so familiar with me and I am not going anywhere with you before you even try to ask. I have a dinner to attend with my brother and his wife.”

“I wasn’t going to.” Chanyeol rolled his eyes.

“I have a family too, you know.”

“Whatever.” Kyungsoo was at least modest enough to look ashamed for making an unfounded assumption.

“Sehun? How are you going to spend your Christmas?” Chanyeol turned to face the only person whose Christmas plans were unknown to him.

“I volunteered to take a shift at the hospital,” Sehun informed with a straight face which meant that the people around him had absolutely no idea about what was going through his mind or how he was feeling. The holiday season was honestly the worst season because he had no one to celebrate it with. He didn’t experience the usual negative feelings during the recent thanksgiving because his friends were there, but now he was going to be alone once again with no one to celebrate with. It honestly sucked to have no family even now when he should be used to it. How many years has it been already?

“You…volunteered?” Chanyeol looked at him as if he has grown an extra head. Usually, the hospital would choose the unlucky doctors who are forced to stay on call during the holiday season, but Sehun was a special bean. It was okay though. Working would keep his mind off all those dark thoughts.

“Why will you do that?”

“I have no family to visit or have dinner with. I usually spend these holidays alone. I might as well work.” With a shrug of his shoulders, he grabbed another fry.

“I was actually going to invite him to Busan with me, but this idiot had already volunteered by the time I brought it up.” Baekhyun groused while shaking his head in disappointment.

“Same. I was going to offer him to come and visit my family.” Jongdae supported Baekhyun and delivered a small whack to Sehun’s head.

“My brother wanted to meet him too. I was going to ask him to come with me to the dinner.” Kyungsoo joined in with a sigh.

“I don’t know why you were in such a hurry to volunteer.”

“What’s done is done. We can do nothing about it.” It was heartwarming that his friends have been thinking about him, but he really didn’t want to impose. Plus, Sehun was aware that he wasn’t the most social person out there. It was going to be awkward as hell for everyone.

“And whose fault is that?” Kyungsoo frowned before throwing a used tissue in his direction as a protest.

“You really are an idiot.” Sehun decided to drop the conversation at that happy note.


 

“Merry Christmas to me, I guess…” Sehun muttered under his breath softly as he looked around the living room. It was usually filled with so much noise – thanks to Baekhyun and Jongdae – but now it was utterly silent save from the crackling of the fire that was burning in the old-fashioned hearth. Even though they weren’t going to be present for Christmas his friends have gone out of their way to decorate the house for the occasion and have refused to take ‘no’ as an answer when he has tried to stop them.

“Idiots.” A low chuckle escaped his lips when his eyes fell on the Christmas tree placed in the left corner of the room close to the hearth. There were small decorations and trinkets hanging from it. The yellow fairy lights that Baekhyun has insisted were absolutely needed made the little things glow. It really was a very pretty sight and Sehun enjoyed himself immensely while the fun lasted. So what he didn’t get to celebrate Christmas. He had a lot of fun at the eve of it at least. Plus, the ambiance of the house was quite warm and cozy with dim light. He has gone to the hospital for his shift after Kyungsoo (he was the last one to leave) has departed. Things have gone pretty smoothly for the most part of the day except for that one idiot who caused an accident because he was driving drunk. Despite that Sehun was home by 10 PM and was now currently sitting on the love seat under the glow of the floor lamp. With a book in his hand, he wriggled his toes inside the fuzzy blue blanket that was wrapped around his legs and reached out with his free hand to flip over to the next page just in time the doorbell rang.

“Huh?” Who could it be? He wasn’t expecting any guests and his friends weren’t supposed to be home until tomorrow afternoon. Was Kyungsoo back early for some reason? There was no one else who would come knocking at his door at this time of the night. Getting out from his comfortable nest, he discarded the book on the coffee table and reluctantly made his way towards the main door.

“I am coming!” He shouted at the door while putting on some slippers when the doorbell rang again.

“Just hurry up.” That voice was unmistakably familiar. Sehun stopped dead in his tracks once he realized that it was Jongin who was waiting on the other side of that door.

“What are you doing here?” He demanded as soon as he has opened the door.

“Hello to you too.” Jongin greeted with a mocking smile completely disregarding the confusion on his intern’s face.

“Are you not going to call me in? It is rude to keep a guest waiting at your door for too long, especially when the weather is this cold.”

“Ah…umm, yeah…p-please come inside, Dr. Kim.”

“Jongin.”

“Huh?”

“You can call me by my name, Sehun.” Jongin clarified with a roll of his eyes.

“We are not at the hospital. I am not your mentor or attendee at the moment. You don’t need to be so formal. Save that for our workplace.”

“Oh. Okay.” Sehun’s brain was lagging behind a bit since it was still trying to make sense of Jongin’s sudden appearance at his house.

“So, Jongin…how do you know my address?” It was just a stupid name, but Sehun still felt himself growing frustratingly hot under the collar.

“Chanyeol gave it to me and before you ask how he knows it then I will remind you that he has been here before with your mother.” Jongin provided before ticking a brow at him.

“Now, can I come inside? It is freezing cold out here.”

“Y-Yes! I am sorry. Please, come in.” Maybe it was the unexpected situation that he suddenly found himself in that Sehun couldn’t bring himself to channel his usual sass and turn his mentor away from the door.

“Nice place,” Jongin commented courteously before taking off his scarf and coat.

“Uh- you can hang them there and thank you.” What the hell was this sudden change of the events? He was planning on spending the night of Christmas alone reading a book, but for some reason, his mentor was there standing in his hallway with plastic bags in his hands.

What…?

“Dr. Kim, what are you carrying in those bags?”

“Food, of course,” Jongin revealed once he was done hanging his things and then turned to face him.

“Will you show me to your kitchen?”

“Why?” What on Earth was going on?

Sehun felt like his world was spinning in circles.

“So that I can put them down. I have been holding them for some time now.”

“I see…” How was he supposed to react? What was he supposed to say?

“Please follow me.”

“Sure, lead the way.”

………………

“Are you going to cook?” There was no way the other male missed the skepticism in his voice.

“I can’t cook to save my life,” Jongin admitted with a chuckle which caused a dimple to form on his cheek and…Oh Sehun you need to breathe!

“What are you doing then?”

“My mom packed us some food so I am going to reheat it for us.” Sehun watched in dumbfounded silence as his mentor skillfully rolled up his sleeves.

Damn those veiny forearms.

“You haven’t eaten already, have you?”

“N-No…I haven’t.” He was still very much confused. Why was Jongin at his place instead of being with his family?

“Seriously. What are you doing here?”

“Do you want me to leave?”

“I am not sure,” Sehun answered frankly while rubbing the back of his neck.

“Only if you were that honest with your feelings,” Jongin mumbled under his breath with a snort before properly facing him.

“Junmyeon and Joohyun went out to celebrate Christmas together after appetizers. Minseok and my mother are way too fond of drinking so I escaped while there was still time.”

“I sympathize, but that still does not explain why you are here.” He really didn’t mean to be a killjoy, but he was genuinely confused.

“Well…I imagined you all alone and grumpy in your house and decided that maybe you won’t mind some company. I even brought us some fine wine so don’t turn me away.”

“I will turn you away just for calling me grumpy!” Sehun threatened with a scowl but nonetheless rolled up his own sleeves to help the other.

“So…what are we having?”

……………

“Did you not eat with your family?” Sehun inquired curiously and carefully eyed his companion. They were currently in the dining room, wolfing away at the heavenly food that the elder Mrs. Kim has packed for them.

He was truly grateful since he was planning on having cup noodles.

“I did join them for a bit.” Jongin provided while popping another spoonful of lasagna in his mouth.

“Didn’t they ask where you were going?” It was only normal that they asked. After all, Christmas was basically considered a family holiday. They might even have been upset.

“You are full of questions today.” Sehun furrowed his brows at the mild look of amusement on his mentor’s face.

“Can you blame me? This is one bizarre situation. I never thought that you will come knocking at my door, unannounced when you should be with people who you care about.” Jongin looked at him with a teasing smile.

“I am with someone who I care about right now though.”

“I am being serious!” God damn it! He was beginning to flush already.

“Hmm…by now I thought you knew me well enough to know that I don’t like to talk unless I am not being serious.”

“Anyway!” Sehun exclaimed in a desperate attempt to change the direction of their conversation. He was not going to give in. What was Kyungsoo going to think of him? They have decided together not to surrender in front of their evil attendees.

“This lasagna is delicious. Your mom is a great cook.”

“I will deliver your compliments to her.” Jongin offered appearing a bit annoyed.

“What were you planning on eating before I came?”

“I have stashed some cup noodles,” Sehun responded while making a vague gesture in the direction of the kitchen.

“Kyungsoo is the one who usually does all the cooking here.”

“Speaking of which,” Jongin leaned back in his seat and stared at him with a slight tilt to his head.

“I was surprised when I found out you guys live together. How did that happen?”

“Ah- that is a very long story.”

“I have time and coincidentally we happen to have good wine too.”

………………

Sehun found out that talking to Jongin (while he was not trying to avoid him or being nervous around him) was actually pretty fun and relaxing. They have started their conversation with the mystery that was his accommodations with an odd group of friends – who strangely managed to get along – at his mother’s house. Then they have moved on to how their arrangement seemed like they were batch mates living in dorms (it wasn’t that untrue) which incited Jongin to share some of his funny experiences in the University dorms with Chanyeol while they were still students. Overall, he enjoyed himself and their casual conversation. So much so, that time seemed to flow past them undetected as they cleared the dishes from the dining room and moved to the kitchen to clean them; of course, their conversation remained uninterrupted.

Jongin has insisted on washing the dishes and has refused to take a no for an answer so Sehun was currently leaning against one of the marble counters and staring at his mentor who was telling him about that one time he went on a hiking trip with his friends. Apparently, they had also set up a camp in the Jungle and Chanyeol had a lot of issues with that.

“I can’t believe Dr. Park is such a goofball,” Sehun commented with a snicker when he heard that Jongin was forced to hold hands with his best friend when they went to sleep in the tent because Chanyeol was scared.

“Don’t judge him by his looks. He is a literal child at heart.” Jongin wrinkled his nose in disgust, but his tone was fond.

“Enough about that. It is time for dessert.”

“Desert?” Sehun repeated in a questioning manner before looking down sheepishly.

“Umm…I wasn’t expecting anyone so there isn’t any-”

“You don’t need to worry about that.” Jongin cut of him breezily and swiftly walked towards the door of the kitchen.

“Just bring out a lighter and a knife, okay?”

“What do you need those for?”

“You will see.” With those ambiguous words, the other male was out of the door before Sehun could even think of stopping him. Deciding that it was no use mulling over it, he quickly looked for the items that he was asked to bring and hurried out after his mentor. His step, however, halted when he caught sight of Jongin sitting on the plush red carpet under the Christmas tree with one of his legs crossed under his body and the other one stretched out. There was a chocolate pound cake – probably meant to be eaten by two people only – sitting in front of him with three small candles embedded in its surface. The fairy lights that romanticized the Christmas tree cast an ethereal glow on the cake and its bringer causing Sehun’s breathe to hitch. There was something so magnificent about Jongin at that moment that he was unable to move his eyes away from him. The teasing shadow of his eyelashes on his cheeks, that impressive jawline, those plush lips, that inquisitive complexion, and those silky hairs…just everything about him was a dream.

“Oh, there you are.” Jongin beckoned him to come closer with his hand as soon as he noticed him.

“I hope you like chocolate.”

“Chocolate is fine.” Sehun’s legs were literally on auto-pilot when they carried him to stand next to Jongin.

“I didn’t notice that you brought a cake.” He disclosed with a wry smile before sitting down and handing over the things. The other male took the knife out of his hand without a word and placed it a safe distance away on the small table.

“Well, you did seem a bit too busy staring at me back then.” Jongin teased with a smirk before lighting the candles.

“I was not staring at anyone!”

“Sure.” The other male was clearly not convinced. Sehun was sure that he was being patronized.

“Why don’t you make a wish and blow these candles out?”

 “Huh? It is not my birthday. Why will I blow out the candles and make a wish?” Jongin clicked his tongue at him with narrowed eyes.

“Do you always have to ask so many questions? Just do it for fun. Come on!”

“For fun,” Sehun mumbled to himself (uncertainty dripping from his speech) before finally giving in with a sigh.

“Fine.” The warmth of the candles cast a soft glimmer on their faces as they scooted closer to the cake. The dim lighting of the room and the almost inaudible crackling from the hearth made everything seem so romantic that Sehun found himself growing hot in the face. His heartbeat accelerated in nervousness as he became extremely conscious of the way his back was mere centimeters away from Jongin’s chest who had no qualms about his personal space.

They almost looked like a couple.

“The candles will melt, you know. Make a wish quickly.” He closed his eyes upon being prompted again and searched his brain for what he could possibly ask for. In the end, the wish didn’t come from his brain (no matter how hard he tried) but from his heart and he had no way to stop it. He wanted to keep it. Whatever it was between him and Jongin he wanted to hold onto it so desperately that he was ready to let go of the resolve of not giving into his feelings. He was happy for the first time in a while and he wanted that happiness to last. With that wish, tucked away safely in his heart, he bent down and blew out the candles. A soft, tinkling chuckle teased his sense of hearing when he straightened up in his place again.

Sehun turned his face to the side to look at Jongin.

“What?” He questioned softly while taking in the other’s features from such close proximity. He wanted to touch and feel how that glowing skin actually felt like.

“Nothing. It looked like you are pretty desperate to have your wish granted.” The response he got was made in an equally soft pitch of voice. The serene environment around them wrapped around Sehun like a warm blanket.

“I am.”

“Really?” Jongin looked rather entertained from his claim.

“Now I am curious. What did you wish for?”

“You.” It was almost comical, the way Jongin’s eyes widened in surprise at his blunt confession. Sehun was sure that it was for the first time that he was seeing the other male with such blatant emotion on his face. Even though it made no sense, he was feeling delighted. It felt nice to be the one who was in control of the situation for once since mostly he was on the receiving end of the stick.

“M-Me?” Jongin was clearly flustered by the sudden proclamation. His composure was completely lost and it was cute how he was trying so hard to regain it.

“Yes.” Sehun felt his lips lifting up in an amused smirk.

“I didn’t know you were capable of blushing, Dr. Kim.”

“I am capable of a lot more.” Jongin, to his credit, didn’t bite the bait and leaned closer towards his face until their lips were only a breath apart.

“Want me to show you?” Staring into his eyes that suddenly seemed to be heated with passion, Sehun allowed himself to lean closer as well.

“Go ahead.” No sooner than those words faded into their crackling surroundings did Jongin granted him the taste of his lips that were sweet from the wine that they have consumed earlier. They haven’t drunk much – a glass only – but the lingering taste of it on those plush lips made Sehun feel drunk all the same. That…and Jongin was an amazing kisser too.

“Ung…” Groaning low in his throat, he turned around completely to wrap his arms around the other male’s neck and endeavored to seek more of that delicious heat from his lips. Jongin, too, didn’t miss the chance and wrapped his arms around his waist to pull him into his lap. It was an awkward position, but the unease of it was soon forgotten in the favor of the feverish passion that was urging them on. Stretching his legs to one side, Sehun brought his hands up to hold onto Jongin’s shoulders and let a low moan escape his lips when a sharp, stinging bite was delivered to his bottom lip. Their tongues eventually came out to test the waters; playful and probing. They teased each other with deliberately slow strokes before losing all sense of patience and reason under the influence of the lava that was beginning to burn low in their stomachs. In amidst of it all, Sehun was barely aware of the arm that suddenly deserted his waist which would explain why all the wind was knocked out of his lungs when he was suddenly pushed down on his back against the carpet.

“What are you doing?” He gasped out in bewilderment and stared up at Jongin who hovered over him like a predator going in for a kill; finally going in for a kill of the prey that he has been waiting to get his hands on.

Sehun gulped audibly.

A part of him was expecting to be eaten alive and the other part was worried about the disgusting squish of the cake that he should have landed on, but apparently, the other male has already taken care of it by pushing it away from their restless bodies. They didn’t even get to taste it. Oh, well. You win some and you lose some.

“Making you take responsibility.” Jongin put forth before his hands came dancing down on Sehun’s clothed body.

“O-Of what?” It was hard to stay put in one place, especially when the other male’s sly hands expertly found the openings in his clothes and slipped past them to tease his bare skin.

“Of all the unnecessary frustration that you have caused me.” There was such impatience in his eyes that for a second, Sehun was convinced that he would combust from the mere passion in Jongin’s eyes.

“I was just- ahh!” The sudden kiss to his ear had him trembling.

“Jongin! N-not there, ah! I am sen-sensitive.” Sehun turned his face away to avoid the assault, but sadly it did very little to deter Jongin.

“I like the sounds that you make.” Another impish kiss was followed by a nip to the cusp of his ear.

“You caused me a lot of trouble, Sehun. I’ll make sure that you pay for it accordingly.”

“Ngh!” Sehun didn’t know what was more torturous. The slow drag of Jongin’s hands against his sides or the overwhelming attention that was being paid to his ears.

“Please…” He whimpered and tugged on the other male’s shirt. His mentor merely gave him an enchanting grin tinged with the flavor of smugness that was unique only to him.

Uh-oh.

He knew that look.

Whatever Jongin was going to throw his way was going to be anything but nice–

“Oh, f-fuck!” Sehun cursed out loud, his voice cracking like an amateur teenager at the brink of puberty, and brought his hand down to hold the other male’s wrist so that he could pull out the hand that has, without any warning, found its way inside his pants.

It was utterly useless though.

“That was not…oh!” The fiery drag of the skillful fingers that were now wrapped around his length caused his brain to swim.

“You know,” Jongin began smugly and pressed a ghost of a kiss against his nape.

“For someone who was practicing abstinence, you sure are excited.”

“I-I am not. Shut up.” It was a wonder how he managed to get those words out when all he wanted to do was scream because ‘Oh lord! It feels so good’ and it has been way too long since he last had sex so his body was all the more sensitive.

“Don’t worry. I will make you forget all about it once I am done with you.” There was a promise in that statement which combined with the scorching, wet tongue that licked a trail down his neckline caused Sehun to curl his fingers inside the fabric of the carpet. He wanted to tell the other male that he has already forgotten all about it but decided not to for the sake of his own health. Jongin already had a hyper-inflated ego. It was better if he didn’t give it more air.

“Now, now. You shouldn’t let your mind wander off when I am right here, Kitten.” The meaning of those words registered a second too late inside Sehun’s brain.

“Ah!” The area which Jongin has just abused with his teeth throbbed scrumptiously.

“Who the hell are you calling a Kitten?” He protested weakly with a glare.

“You, of course.”

“I am not a bloody Kitten. What the hell is wrong with you—” Being the unfair prick that he was, Jongin cut his complaint off by ruthlessly squeezing and pumping his length. The movements were equally pleasurable and miserable. He wasn’t sure whether he wanted them to stop or continue. The confinement of the fabric of his underwear and pants was both a curse and a blessing. He was going positively crazy.

“You were saying?” Jongin taunted with a lazy smirk and firmly swiped his thumb over the head of his member. The cry that left Sehun’s lips was totally unbidden and came out without any warning.

“I a-am not a stupid Kitty!”

“Hmm…you sure? I mean you just did mewl like one.”

“Fuck you.” Sehun was way too riled up to say anything else.

“We will get there. First, shall we get rid of this?” Even though he posed it as a question, Jongin didn’t waste a second in getting rid of his sweater and shirt. Sehun felt a cold shiver going down his spine once his torso was bared to the biting cold of the winter night.

“My god! Just look at you.” Jongin cursed, the mask of patience and composure stripped away from his face for a second, as his hungry eyes roved over the spectacle that was presented in front of his eyes.

And what a spectacle it was!

Disheveled raven locks messy against the blood-red of the rug, pale sweaty skin, shaking brown pupils glistening with unshed tears, red, hot blush blooming proudly on the supple cheeks, pouty lips trembling with need and the blazing flush climbing up his neck from the chest.

Sehun made up the most gorgeous sight that he has ever seen.

He was a sin with his ears bright pink, his knuckles white from how hard he was fisting his hands and he was literally quivering from head to toe – to say that they weren’t even completely out of their clothes.

Jongin was ready to lose control…so he did.

Not stopping the movements of his hand that was busy inside Sehun’s pants, he leaned down to capture one of the dusky nipples between his teeth and chewed on it. The husky keen that he was rewarded with was totally worth the action. He continued to lavish his lover’s chest with attention and only pulled back when Sehun once again attempted to pull his hand out of his pants.

“What is it, Sehun?” He knew all too well what it was all about, but he wanted to hear it from the other’s lips.

“J-Jongin, if you keep that up…ugh!”

“If I keep that up?”

“You will push me over the edge.” That cute little whine at the end almost – almost – made Jongin give in.

“Will I?” He teased instead while increasing the pace of his strokes. His gleaming eyes fixed intently on Sehun’s face as desire took over his senses. He drank in the sight of the dilated pupils, features twisted in ecstasy, lips open in a silent plea of lust and the beautiful bend of his body as he arched off the carpet ready for the throes of passion to consume him.

The height of pleasure that he never reached.

“What…?” Sehun wheezed when Jongin suddenly pulled his hands away from him without giving him any sort of satisfaction.

He was so, so close.

“Since you asked so nicely. I thought that I should grant your wish and stop here.”

“You are the biggest asshole in this whole universe.” Jongin mischievously tugged on the waistband of his pants.

“Too bad. I am not letting go of you now.” Those words were uttered with almost a childish glee. However, the swift way his pants and underwear were yanked off in one go was anything, but childish. The contradiction of it all took away what little sanity Sehun was still holding onto. He watched on with bated breath as Jongin lifted one of his legs up in the air – it was so damn embarrassing and he tried to yank it back but, of course, all his efforts went into vain – and trailed kisses down his hind leg until he has reached the top of his ankle.

“You are trembling.” He wanted to smack that smug expression off his face so bad.  How the hell did Jongin manage to look so calm when Sehun was a flushed and quivering mess?

“I am not.” It was useless, but he still had some dignity left.

“Uh-huh.” The other male acknowledged in a noncommittal fashion before once again trailing kisses along the length of his leg. This time, however, instead of going down he moved up, past his knee, and onto the inside of his thighs. Sehun moaned breathily as plush lips traced a searing, wet trail up his thigh until it reached–

“H-Hey! Don’t—ngh!” He was a little too late in his objection because Jongin has already swiped his tongue against the ring of muscles that twitched against the foreign attention. It was clear that he wasn’t planning on stopping too because he held Sehun by the back of his both thighs and pulled him in until he was forced to raise his hips slightly off the carpet. Now, with a more comfortable position, the other male doubled his efforts in eating him out. There was tongue and then there were teeth and…oh for the love of the chocolate milk it was too much to handle. He was way too sensitive. It was hard to handle the amount of pleasure coursing through his veins in the bouts of huge waves. With a constant string of whimpers and cries escaping his lips, Sehun tried to wriggle his way away from the onslaught, but Jongin’s rough hands held him by the hips and pulled him back in place.

“Oh, please.”

“Where do you think you are running to?” That smile was pure evil. Sehun was sure that the other male was the embodiment of the devil himself. He said he was going to make him pay and he was doing it – he was doing it with vengeance!

“W-Wait!” Sehun pleaded in a pathetic, shaky voice and desperately clamped his legs shut.

“Wait?” Jongin tilted his head in mock consideration before clicking his tongue in disapproval.

“I think you have made me do that for long enough already.”

“No. I-I need-”

“You need to keep those legs open, Kitten.”

“I told you not to call me that!” Sehun felt his face flaming in embarrassment.

“And I said that you need to stop mewling like one.” Jongin countered casually before gently tracing his fingers along the length of his inner thighs. The touch was almost soothing and relaxing, but just before Sehun could do either of the ones his legs were once again spread open. There was hardly any time to react before the other male went in for the kill again.

“Mm!” Sehun threw his head back in pleasure and scrambled on his clumsy arms to find any semblance of support that could ground him to the Earth. It was torture – sweet torture. He wanted it to end, but at the same time, he didn’t want it to end.

“Can’t you just do it already?”

“Do what?”

You fucker! You know exactly what!

Sehun wanted to shout at his face, but any attempt at opening his mouth to speak ends up being a moan.

“I-I am…ah…I am not going to a-ask you to- uggh!”

“Ask me to what?” Jongin inquired while nipping around his rim.

“I am sorry, Sehun, but your words are a bit gibberish. They don’t make any sense.”

“Fuck me!”

‘I will never ask you to fuck me.’

There he said it.

“You want me to fuck you? Why didn’t you say so sooner?” Jongin finally pulled his mouth away and straightened up in his place.

“What? No! That is not what I meant. I was not begging—ah!” Sehun broke off into a gasp when he was suddenly forced to sit up.

“I shall grant your wish.” That smug little shit. He was going to slap the hell out of him–

“Mmph…”

Well, he would slap the hell out of him after he was done kissing him.

Sehun brought up his shaky arms and wound them tightly around Jongin’s neck when the other male’s tongue came knocking at the front door of his lips, insistently asking for entrance. All coherent thoughts – at least the ones that were left – left his mind as his lover’s sweet tongue traced its path along the roof of his mouth before fiercely engaging with his own tongue. The passion of their kiss had Sehun so lost that he totally missed it when Jongin pulled out a packet of lube from his pants pocket.

“Ugh, fuck!” He pulled away from the kiss with a sharp intake when he felt two well-lubricated fingers penetrating his entrance.

“C-Could have gi-given a warning.”

“Now, where’s the fun in that?” Jongin teased with a twinkling smile before he slowly started to move his fingers in and out of him. Biting his bottom lip, Sehun clutched at the broad shoulder in front of him and buried his face in the crook of Jongin’s neck with a pathetic whimper when he gradually started to pick up the pace. An especially loud moan escaped his lips when the other male scissored his hole open and chanced upon that very spot inside him that made him see stars.

“Oh! M-My…” Sehun cried out in pleasure before fisting his hands against Jongin’s shirt. It was only then did he notice that his lover was fully clothed while he was an utter and naked mess.

“Take off your clothes.” He demanded hoarsely and tugged at the black sweater.

“Take it off.”

“Demanding, aren’t we?”

“Jongin, I swear. I…nghh! I can’t be the only one naked here.”

“I didn’t hear you complain earlier.” Jongin pointed out with a snort before he slowly dragged blunt nails against his sensitive and heated walls; making Sehun promptly jolt in his place.

“Very well. I shall listen to you then.” With those words, he pulled out his fingers completely. Within the duration of the next half-a-minute, Jongin was as naked as the day he was born. Sehun watched with feverish and hungry eyes when the other male pulled out a condom from his pocket.

“Should I ask why you are carrying that?”

“You didn’t ask why I was carrying lube with me.”

“Why are you carrying these things?” Sehun questioned with a raised brow and wetted his lips in anticipation when Jongin wore the condom and covered it with lube.

“I was kind of hoping things would go in this direction. Actually, no. I was sure that we will end up like this.”

“You are way too confident, Dr. Kim.”

“Dr. Kim, huh?” Jongin repeated with a cunning smile before hovering over him. Sehun felt a shiver of delight running down his spine when his legs were spread and he felt the heat of Jongin’s length against his waiting entrance.

“Is that how you want to do it? Do you want the racy thrill of doing something risky with your mentor? How very bold of you, Dr. Oh.”

“I want no such thing- mmh!” Sehun really should have expected to be silenced the way he was currently rendered unable to speak or even formulate a thought. Of course, Jongin would choose that very moment to penetrate him. The slow drag of his veiny and well-endowed member had Sehun scrambling for the purchase.

“Y-You are a monster.” The way his rim was stretched so deliciously and the addicting burn that was sending waves of flaming fire coursing through his system caused his mind to practically reel.

“Shit.” Jongin haggard curse once he completely bottomed out inside him was one of the very few indications that night that told Sehun that he wasn’t the only one going crazy or losing his mind over their fervent encounter.

“J-Jongin…” Sehun choked out with a stifled cry when the other male started to move his hips without any prior warning. The pace wasn’t too fast, but it wasn’t gentle either. He wasn’t sure whether he wanted to run away from the pleasure licking up his insides or keep asking for more. In the end, he decided to do neither. Not that it mattered. Jongin was more than capable of reading his body language on his own and soon the once silent and peaceful living room was filled with the scandalous and filthy noises of their skin slapping together as Jongin practically railed him against the carpet. 

“No- ha! Slow…s-slow down! Please. I can’t! I can’t!” It was too much to take. After such a long period of not having sex, Jongin’s punishing pace was something that he couldn’t handle.

“Is this too much for you, Dr. Oh?” The other male simpered against his ear smugly before nipping along his lobe.

“Perhaps, if I wasn’t so irritated with you for the past few days I would have listened to you. Plus, your body seems to be greatly contradicting what you are saying. It is literally sucking me in like a vice.”

“I…ugh…I…god.” No matter how hard he tried, speaking was a task that he was no longer adept at performing so instead of wasting his time, Sehun dug his nails against his lover’s back and dragged them down with a wet sob.

“Jongin!”

“That’s right. Sing that song for me a little louder.” If Sehun was any saner he would have smacked the other male for waxing poetry while he was literally ravaging him like a wild beast.

“Close. I am close.” He rasped out in a husky voice before wrapping his legs around Jongin’s waist to pull him in deeper.

“Show it to me then. The face you make when you are in the throes of pleasure.”

……………

“No offense, but you fuck like an animal.” Sehun pointed out in a rough voice that was pleasantly hoarse from excessive use.

“And you wax poetry while doing it. The oddest combination ever.”

“Are you saying you have an issue?" Jongin inquired before wrapping him in his warm embrace.

“Cause from here you look boneless and satisfied to me.”

“I never said I have an issue.” With a content sigh, Sehun snuggled up against the other male’s very naked and very firm chest. They were currently still laying on the carpet that they have christened and from the looks of it had no plans of getting up–

“Sehun! Surprise! We are back– oh my eyes!” Baekhyun’s obnoxiously loud voice cruelly popped the secure bubble of warmth that was surrounding the two of them.

“What the hell?” With a curse under his breath, Sehun immediately wrenched his bare body away from Jongin’s and sat up in his place only to be greeted by the sight of his horrified friends…plus Chanyeol who appeared absolutely entertained.

At least, Jongin has been smart enough to cover their bodies with the blanket that Sehun was using before he came.

“I can’t believe this!” Kyungsoo seethed.

“I go through all the trouble of hearing my brother nag because I was supposed to stay over at his place for the night just to come here and find out that you were having sex with Jongin.”

“I know right! I can’t believe I took the earliest flight back to Seoul just because I wanted to surprise you, Sehun!” Jongdae joined in before his eyes went comically wide again.

What now?

“I also can’t believe you had sex on the ugly Christmas sweater that you were going to gift me.”

Huh?

With a frown on his face, Sehun looked down at where his friend was pointing.

Oh-

Right.

Shit!

He really should have been more aware of his surroundings when he decided to have sex with Jongin right under the Christmas tree, especially when they have decorated all the unopened gifts – they were going to open them together once everyone has returned from their holiday – under it as well.

“Umm…I am sorry?” Sehun was sure that his treacherous face was all red at that moment. He couldn’t believe that he was caught having sex with his mentor (under the Christmas tree no less) by his friends right after they have done the deed.

“To say I canceled my date for you.” Kyungsoo continued with a suffering sigh making him feel guilty beyond belief. They have after all made an oath not to give in to their temptations, but he has clearly broken the promise.

“I am sorr-”

Wait…

Wait just a damned minute.

A date?

Kyungsoo was supposed to go on a date with someone.

That meant–

Sehun looked at his friend with accusing eyes.

“Who were you going to go on a date with?”

“His boyfriend, of course,” Chanyeol responded with a grin and wrapped his arm around Kyungsoo’s shoulder.

“You see him.” His friend shrugged his shoulders casually.

“Okay, guys. Why don’t we give them some space so that they can…um…get dressed.” Baekhyun awkwardly cleared his throat before Sehun could make any other remark and started to herd everyone out of the living room.

“I can’t believe my sweater was christened even before I got to wear it,” Jongdae grumbled under his breath.

“You will get another one. Now come.” Baekhyun dragged a very reluctant Jongdae away and firmly closed the door once they were out. There was a long, painful moment of silence that passed between Sehun and Jongin before both of them burst out into a peal of laughter.

 

“I can’t believe that just happened,” Jongin remarked with a snicker.

“I know right. This is the weirdest Christmas ever.” Sehun jested though nothing in the world could change the fact that he wouldn’t trade that day for anything else.

He was just that happy.

For once he wasn’t feeling bitter on a Christmas.

So what if Santa didn’t come to pay him a visit ever since he moved away with his mother.

Grinch was better than him anyway.