If you told Jeongguk that he'd end up at the backseat of Yoongi's car right in the dead ass middle of a Saturday night, looking like shit and feeling equally as shitty as he nursed a nasty cut on his cheek, he'd probably just look at you all funny and laugh at your face.
Because, really, what are the chances right? There's just no way Jeongguk can ever see that happening in the near future, not if he can help it.
Except that's exactly where Jeongguk finds himself tonight, doing the exact same thing and caught in the exact same situation he'd practically sworn he'd never ever see himself in. No one's actually laughing here, though, except maybe for Yoongi—who looks like he's just about to burst into hysterics at any given second, with his lips pursed and that hint of mirth dancing in his eyes.
Really, it's amazing how Jeongguk's even able to suffer through the entire ride to the hospital in silence. Yoongi just keeps on stealing quick glances at him from the rearview mirror, amusement practically rolling off of him in waves. If Jeongguk wasn't feeling totally grateful for having Yoongi drive him at some ungodly hour in the morning, he probably would've gotten out of the car and walked to the hospital by himself instead. But, as it is, Jeongguk did disturb Yoongi from his rather peaceful sleep, so Jeongguk just settles by glaring at him as hard as he can.
Maybe it's not so much as threatening as it is amusing, though, considering how silly Jeongguk looks with the beauty of a black eye marring his face.
"Stop that, hyung," Jeongguk whines, unable to keep his silence any longer. He doesn't really have a second to even feel embarrassed about how childish he must have sounded, not when Yoongi continues to look at him like that and consequently make him feel like one. Yoongi just looks much too awake and too entertained for someone who's been abruptly woken up in the middle of the night just to drive some dumb kid to the hospital. "I can feel you judging me all the way here at the backseat."
Even while driving, Yoongi still manages to give Jeongguk his most unimpressed stare until he ruins it by snorting out loud again. "You can explain to me how you got that injury one more time and I still won't get it."
Jeongguk huffs in his seat. Well, it's not like Jeongguk plans to, anyway—he'd suffered enough embarrassment the first time he'd made the mistake of telling Yoongi what happened; he's not about to willingly put himself in that position again by doing it the second time around.
"Just drive faster, hyung," Jeongguk mumbles petulantly. The only response he gets is a slight chuckle, more an exhale of air than anything.
Luckily, Yoongi doesn't feel like being his usual snarky self, so he spares Jeongguk some mercy and just continues to drive in silence. There aren't too many cars out tonight, considering it's already a little over one in the morning, and the roads are virtually barren of traffic. Jeongguk looks out the window as the car speeds down the almost deserted street, tries to keep his mind off the stinging cut on his cheek.
It doesn't look all that bad now—the wound has already stopped bleeding, thankfully, and the swelling has gone down quite a bit. Still, there's a noticeable redness around its edges and the cut is just a tad too deep to let it close on its own without having it thoroughly checked first by a medical professional.
Jeongguk had tried to wrestle his way out of Yoongi's persistence to bring him to the hospital but Yoongi just wouldn't have any of it. Jeongguk could recognize a lost cause when he saw one so, in the end, he just let out a resigned sigh and allowed Yoongi to manhandle him into the car (it was quite a hilarious sight; Jimin would've probably guffawed at him if he saw just how docile Jeongguk had been in Yoongi's hands).
"Stop frowning," Yoongi says, disrupting the momentary silence. Jeongguk looks at him just in time to see Yoongi shift his gaze at the road again. "We're almost at the hospital."
Jeongguk grimaces. That doesn't exactly do anything to lift his spirits but—whatever. Jeongguk supposes he doesn't have any choice, anyway. Better to just get it done and over with now.
True to Yoongi's word, it isn't very long before they finally reach the hospital. Yoongi accompanies Jeongguk as he checks into the ER with no trouble, nodding when the nurse informs him that a doctor will be available very shortly. Yoongi waits with him for a few minutes, before he eventually decides to have Jeongguk deal with the waiting all by himself and raid the coffee vending machine down the hallway.
Jeongguk sighs, lets his eyes wander around the place to distract himself. The emergency room is pretty empty at this time of the night, much to Jeongguk's luck. There are no kids who've fallen out of trees, no mothers bringing their child in with a flu or a stomach ache. No pellet gun accidents, no head wounds, no chest pain scares.
Just Jeongguk and the ridiculous cut on his cheek. Great.
Before Jeongguk can even consider backing out, maybe make up some flimsy excuse about feeling all better now, the nurse finally returns and calls him back. Jeongguk begrudgingly follows her as she leads him into an empty cubicle, and sits himself down on the bed as he waits. There's not much to do, really, and Jeongguk's left wondering whether he should contact Yoongi or just have him look for Jeongguk himself once he returns.
The curtains then swing open—
—and all his musings come to a sudden halt.
"Mr. Jeon?" The doctor inquires politely and, holy shit, he looks kind of young for a doctor, and hot in just about every single clichè doctor way Jeongguk has ever heard. With a dimpled smile that radiates comfort and the desire to help. Not to mention the blond hair, strong build, and shoulders broad enough to hold all the sinful thoughts currently running rampant inside Jeongguk's head.
"Jeongguk," he finds himself stuttering all of a sudden, his tongue tripping over his words. The doctor stops writing on his clipboard and looks up at him. Even the ridiculous way he has one eyebrow hiked in curiosity has Jeongguk's heart tumbling in leaps, what the actual fuck. "That's, um, my name. It's Jeongguk."
Nice. Very eloquent, Jeon Jeongguk.
"Well, then. It's nice to meet you, Jeongguk," the doctor—Dr. Kim, Jeongguk reads on his lab coat—says with a pleasant smile. It should be alarming how the mere sound of Jeongguk's name from his lips can get Jeongguk shivering in his seat for entirely inappropriate reasons. "What brings you here today?"
Jeongguk blushes. And then reluctantly mumbles a reply that Dr. Kim probably can’t quite hear, judging from the way he draws his eyebrows together in confusion and leans a little closer towards Jeongguk. "What was that?"
"I smashed right into a towel rack," Jeongguk says a bit louder, clearly embarrassed. It sounds so stupid in his head, even stupider now that he's said it out in the open, and Jeongguk just finds himself fervently hoping for the ground to open up and swallow him whole right there and then.
Jeongguk can see the beginnings of a smile already pulling at the corners of the doctor's lips and he briefly wonders if Dr. Kim would've ended up outright laughing at him if it wasn't ethically wrong for a doctor to make fun of the misfortunes of his patient (he probably would—Jeongguk knew he'd end up doing the same if he was in Dr. Kim's position, anyway). But instead, Dr. Kim just sobers up and says in his most serious tone, "Well, I certainly didn’t see that coming."
Jeongguk grimaces. For the record, Jeongguk didn't see it either (the wall-mounted towel rack, that is) and he's pretty damn tempted to say it loud, if only to have his mouth momentarily occupied and not perpetually distorted in a scowl. He's aware that it definitely won't save him from the puddle of mortification he's currently drowning in, however, so Jeongguk just decides to keep his mouth shut instead.
With a considering hum, Dr. Kim moves towards him and leans forward to examine the cut on his cheek. His fingers then flutter over Jeongguk's skin, leaving a trail of warmth and comfort. This close, Jeongguk can practically count each individual lash framing his dark eyes, can see the fine sprinkling of freckles across his nose and cheeks, can smell the faint sharpness of his cologne. If he concentrates hard enough, Jeongguk swears he can even hear the air rushing to fill his lungs, can almost feel the rhythmic staccato of his beating heart with their proximity—
A voice that sounds oddly like Yoongi's reminds Jeongguk how rude it is to stare at people so, with some great effort, Jeongguk forces himself to look away. The slightest possibility that Dr. Kim might have caught him shamelessly ogling has Jeongguk feeling embarrassed beyond belief. He worries on his bottom lip, wills the heat rising high up on his cheeks to die down.
When Dr. Kim finally, finally steps back, Jeongguk finds himself releasing a breath he hasn't even realized he'd been holding. "Well, the good news is it appears to be a pretty minor cut, and I don't think it's deep enough to warrant stitches," he says, smiling sympathetically. "It needs to be cleaned and covered up with a bandage for a few days, however, to keep the area free from potential infection."
He then brings up an antiseptic wipe to disinfect the site of the injury and Jeongguk unconsciously braces himself for the sting of the cleanser. Despite his mental preparation though, the first careful press of the wipe against his wound has Jeongguk still clenching his teeth in pain. Jeongguk can see Dr. Kim wincing along with him when he starts continuously dabbing at the cut.
"Did you come here all by yourself, Jeongguk?" Dr. Kim's voice comes out low and breathy, almost like a whisper, and Jeongguk's brain has to take a second or two to catch up with that sudden question.
"No," Jeongguk says as soon as he figures out how to get his mouth to work, "I asked my roommate to drive me to the hospital."
Dr. Kim hums in response. "That's good. It's pretty dangerous to be walking alone at this time of the night. Especially for someone like you."
There is absolutely no reason for Jeongguk to be feeling this warm, like a fire has just been lit inside of him and is now sending sparks of heat right down to his fingertips and toes, but he does and Jeongguk knows it's ridiculous. Dr. Kim probably didn't mean anything by that at all, and Jeongguk's most likely just imagining the faint hue of red shading the doctor's cheeks, but he still can't help basking a little over the barely contained concern dripping in Dr. Kim's voice.
It takes a few more packets of antiseptic wipe to thoroughly clean the wound, before Jeongguk finds himself patched up with a sterile bandage. Dr. Kim gently pokes around the area a few more times and then smiles, seemingly satisfied with his handiwork.
"Make sure to change the dressing everyday," Dr. Kim reminds him. "If the wound begins to swell, or if you develop a fever within the next few days, come back and we'll take a look at it again."
"Okay," Jeongguk says. "Thank you, Dr. Kim."
Dr. Kim throws another dimpled smile in his direction and it has Jeongguk immediately clutching onto the edge of the bed to keep him upright. He's about ready to leave when Dr. Kim suddenly hands Jeongguk a prescription for some pain killers, a paper with written symptoms of infection he needs to watch out for, and well wishes.
Before Jeongguk can even open his mouth and probably embarrass himself by saying weird, unnecessary things, he bolts out of the cubicle and doesn't look back. It doesn't take long before he finds Yoongi sitting on one of the benches in the waiting room, looking like he's two seconds away from falling asleep with a cup of instant coffee in his hand.
All traces of sleepiness disappears, however, when Yoongi sees the dressing on Jeongguk's cheek. He snorts, loud and obnoxious enough that anyone within hearing range would've probably turned their head and stared at him in judgment. "How'd it go, hot stuff?"
Jeongguk rolls his eyes—pretty sure he looks like the farthest thing from hot stuff right now. "Minor cut. They just had to bandage it up and told me to come back if it gets infected."
Yoongi slowly stands up. Hums his assent. Offers whatever is left of his coffee to Jeongguk. "Where's the doctor?"
"Nowhere," Jeongguk blurts out. He takes Yoongi's proffered coffee with one hand and pulls him in the direction of the nearest exit with the other. "Let's go, hyung. It's pretty late."
"No shit, sherlock," Yoongi grumbles. Jeongguk continues dragging him along, the rubber soles of their shoes squeaking against the tiled floor with each hurried step. Yoongi grunts in annoyance. "Hey, hey—slow down. Why are you in such a hurry, anyway?"
"No particular reason," Jeongguk quickly says. Much too quickly, perhaps, that it doesn't sound the least bit convincing even to his own ears.
Yoongi raises a curious brow at him. He doesn't ask Jeongguk any questions though and, for that, Jeongguk is definitely grateful.
Jeongguk has almost completely forgotten about that Embarrassing Incident with the towel rack and his Equally Embarrassing encounter with Dr. Kim last Saturday night. That is, until a whole week passes and, suddenly, it's Saturday again and he’s right back where he was before.
Only this time, the bump on his forehead and his possibly broken nose aren't entirely caused by a stationary object, but rather an actual swinging door that managed to hit him square on the face as he was passing through it in his hurry.
"You know Yoongi would totally kill you if he finds out, right?"
Jeongguk huffs and slides farther down in the uncomfortable plastic hospital chair. He's really not in the mood to be scolded right now; he's sore and hurting and overall miffed about his newly-discovered clumsiness and the last thing Jeongguk wants to do is to sit here and be reminded that he probably has an angry Yoongi to worry about back at the dorm.
"It was an accident," Jeongguk says, sourly, and Seokjin just looks at him in response. There's an exasperated expression written all over his face, like he can't quite believe he's being subjected to treat a stubborn, overgrown child on a weekend night.
"That may be true, but you know Yoongi also has this thing about you getting injured twice in just a span of a week. Mainly that you shouldn't," Seokjin tuts. He takes his phone out and, for the briefest second, Jeongguk gets distinctly terrified for his life. "So either you tell him, or I will. Because Yoongi worries about you a lot and with good reason, too."
Jeongguk would've been quick to point out that Yoongi's already sleeping at this time and would most likely continue to do so for the next ten hours. But then again, Jeongguk also knows how Yoongi's strangely attuned to everything when it comes to Seokjin and there's a nine point five out of ten chance that Yoongi will pick up if Seokjin does decide to follow through with his threat and call now.
And just like that, Jeongguk deflates in his seat, all the fight going out of him in one quick second. "I'll tell him," he says, resigned. "But can that wait until after we get this looked at, hyung?"
Seokjin smiles, soft and relieved. "Of course. Joon-ah's just about finished with his other patient. He'll be here to attend to you in a little while."
Just as he's about to ask who in the world this Joon person is and if they're actually good enough to fix his marred face, Jeongguk sees a familiar figure heading in his direction, quickly recognizes that tuft of blond hair, broad shoulders, that fair built—and everything in Jeongguk just stills.
"I would say it's nice to see you again, Mr. Jeon, but..." Dr. Kim trails off, a ghost of a smile playing on his lips.
Jeongguk wants to die. Preferably at this very moment. Have the ground just open up and swallow him whole right here, right fucking now.
Jeongguk's much too focused on inwardly cursing his luck that he barely notices Seokjin shifting his gaze from him to Namjoon and then back again, a mix of curiosity and interest etched across his features.
"You know each other?" Seokjin asks.
"He came to the ER last week and I was on duty," Dr. Kim answers, shrugging. He then turns to face Jeongguk and there's probably nothing in this world that could have prepared Jeongguk from seeing that dimpled smile—just as pretty as he remembered—up close again. "Looks like the cut on your cheek's healed up pretty well."
"It's Jeongguk," he insists, and Jeongguk's surprised he can even find it in himself to do it a little stubbornly than usual, considering the circumstances. "And it did. I guess I should thank you for that. Again."
"I'm glad I was able to help," Dr. Kim says easily, like he's been trained to give the same answer over and over and over again. "Now, let's get you looked at again, yeah? Can you tell me what happened this time?"
Jeongguk mumbles around the tissue paper he's holding to his nose, his voice now coming out a little too nasally for his liking.
Dr. Kim cocks his head to the side. "Another towel rack?"
He probably should've felt offended that Dr. Kim had even considered the possibility of a towel rack being the cause of another one of his injuries again, but all Jeongguk can do is let out a huff of laughter at the ridiculousness of it all. He's mortified at the fact that he's back at the ER during Dr. Kim's shift, sure, but Jeongguk also feels a little shy and relieved, somehow, that someone as nice and competent as Dr. Kim is checking him up tonight.
Jeongguk tries his best to explain when Dr. Kim patiently prods him again for an answer but it isn't very easy, especially with a possibly broken nose making his voice a bit slurred. In the end, Jeongguk's poor excuse of an explanation only comes out a giant mess, all muddled up and unintelligible.
Thankfully, Seokjin comes to his rescue before Jeongguk can burst a vessel somewhere for trying again, "This kid walked right through a swinging door, tried to convince me it's an accident and refused to let his roommate know that he's here. Again, apparently."
On the other hand, Jeongguk wishes Seokjin just never opened his mouth. He completely forgot about Seokjin's ability to sound utterly ruthless and matter-of-fact, even in the face of an injured Jeongguk.
Dr. Kim dons a pair of gloves and frowns disapprovingly at him. It's ten different kinds of stupid and mind-boggling maybe, but seeing that downturn of lips has Jeongguk suddenly feeling like he wants to curl in on himself to hide.
"Tilt your head back for me?" Dr. Kim says as he steps forward. Once Jeongguk complies, albeit hesitantly, Dr. Kim presses his gloved fingers against the bridge of Jeongguk's nose and cautiously watches him for his reaction. It doesn't hurt that much, but Jeongguk knows it's swollen, has seen how awful he looked in the mirror before he even dragged his ass to the ER.
This goes on for a few more quiet seconds before Dr. Kim eventually pulls back and gives Jeongguk the verdict of his assessment. "Thankfully, it doesn't look like it's broken."
"Feels like it is," Jeongguk mumbles, but even he can hear the undertone of relief in his voice.
Dr. Kim laughs, his face breaking out into that goddamn dimpled smile again. Jeongguk swears his heart is going to beat right out of his mouth any second now if Dr. Kim won't stop smiling at him like that. "It's a good thing it's not then, isn't it?" he asks, amused. "Let me get you some more pain killers, then we can splint that up, and you’ll be good to go in no time."
This time, as he fixes Jeongguk up, Dr. Kim doesn't strike up a conversation like before. Instead, hisses of pain fill in the silence between them, along with a few mumbled curses that Jeongguk keeps trying to swallow down and Dr. Kim's little huffs of amusement whenever Jeongguk accidentally does let one—or five— slip out of his lips. Jeongguk can't deny how good it feels to be the cause of that smile, though, and he finds the inexplicable want to do that again, have Dr. Kim's eyes curve up in pretty crescents because of Jeongguk.
"No running through doors for the next two weeks," Dr. Kim says lightly. Warmth rushes into his cheeks and Jeongguk only grumbles in embarrassment.
As promised, Jeongguk is sent home a few hours later, with strict instructions not to show up at the hospital with another injury for at least two weeks.
Jeongguk, apparently, isn't a great listener—not by any stretch when it comes to keeping himself away from any physical injury it seems. So it's only a week later when Jeongguk catches himself back at the hospital again.
The third time Jeongguk ends up at the ER, he's limping past through the entrance door and into the waiting room with Jimin when Dr. Kim sees him. The alarm and concern that quickly overtook his face would've been quite an entertaining sight if Jeongguk hadn't been the cause of it all, really.
"And here I thought I'd have to live for two weeks without seeing you back here, Mr. Jeon," is what Dr. Kim greets him with as soon as they're alone. He punctuates it with a sigh, and Jeongguk gets the odd feeling like he's disappointed him, somehow.
"Did you not want to see me?" Jeongguk blurts out before he can even get the chance to stop the words from slipping right out of his mouth. He can hear Jimin's barely surpressed snicker in the background and Jeongguk feels unbearably warm with surprise and mortification. He's not usually this straightforward with his friends, much less with gorgeous strangers with a dimpled smile and gentle hands. "And I told you already, it's Jeongguk."
"Call me hyung and maybe I'll think about it," Dr. Kim fires back. Before Jeongguk can even get the chance to wonder if he actually heard a teasing lilt in Dr. Kim's voice, he crouches down and starts prodding at Jeongguk's ankle very carefully, each time asking how much it hurts.
"Hurts every time I try to step on it," Jeongguk mutters, wincing when Dr. Kim accidentally presses a bit hard and it sends a stab of pain up Jeongguk's leg.
"You sprained your ankle pretty badly," Dr. Kim says, gets up on his feet so he can look at Jeongguk eye-to-eye. "I don't think there's terribly extensive damage from what I can see, but we still need to get you an x-ray just to be sure."
Dr. Kim's assessment has Jimin immediately frowning at him. "I told you not to overexert yourself, Jeonggukie."
Jeongguk feels a wave of guilt quickly washing over him. He's always been a real hardworker, especially when it comes to things he's passionate about—dancing being one of them—and he knows his tendency to get a little too hard on himself most of the time. Still, it doesn't excuse the fact that he's consciously pushed himself to his limits today and even got injured in the end, of all things.
"How did this happen, exactly?" Dr. Kim asks, a frown forming between his eyebrows. It's part and parcel of taking a patient's history, Jeongguk knows that much, but he finds himself hoping the obvious concern in Dr. Kim's voice is brought about by something else entirely.
"This brat is so stubborn, hyung," Jimin complains, "I told him to give it a rest today after dance practice ended, but he wouldn't listen and just kept going at it like a madman."
Dr. Kim clucks his tongue in disapproval. "You shouldn't push yourself too hard, Jeongguk. Tired muscles are less likely to provide good support for your joints, and when you're exhausted, you're also more likely to succumb to forces that could stress your joints or overextend your muscles."
"Stop ganging up on me," Jeongguk whines, pouting at the both of them.
"We're just concerned for your wellbeing," Dr. Kim smiles apologetically, "Anyway, I'll leave you two for a bit to set up your x-ray. I expect to find you right here when I get back, alright?"
Jeongguk can't help but roll his eyes; it's not like he can move a lot by himself even if he wants to, though. (Not that he wants to, mind you.) "I'm not going anywhere, hyung."
Dr. Kim smiles, seemingly pleased at Jeongguk's easy compliance. If the fact that Jeongguk had managed to gather enough courage to finally call him hyung didn't leave him feeling flustered and a little breathless, then having Dr. Kim smile at him like that again most certainly did the job just fine.
As soon as Dr. Kim leaves, Jimin gives him a knowing look. Jeongguk groans; he knows that look, has been subjected to it enough times to figure out what Jimin's already thinking even before he opens his mouth, and Jeongguk's sure as hell not about to fall victim to whatever ridiculous idea Jimin has in mind again.
"He's very cute," Jimin says after a while. His lips are quirked in a teasing smile, like he knows he's hit the bullseye with that single statement alone.
"Um. W-who?" Jeongguk asks, trying to play naive and cursing himself when he stutters.
"You know who," Jimin responds, rolling his eyes. When Jeongguk fails to show any kind of indication that he actually knows what Jimin's talking about, Jimin just grimaces in annoyance. "Dr. Kim."
"Is he?" Jeongguk goes on, still painting the picture of complete innocence in the face of a nosy Jimin. "I didn't notice, hyung."
Jimin stares at him with dead eyes and Jeongguk has half a mind to book it out of the hospital cubicle just to escape this inevitable interrogation, his swollen ankle be damned. "Riiiiight. You know, if I wasn't so head over heels for someone already, I probably would've tried to chase after him."
For some reason, Jeongguk finds himself frowning at the idea. He's not sure why the mere thought of Jimin getting a little too friendly with Dr. Kim is making his skin prickle with—with something. "You're not cute enough for him to notice you, hyung."
"Yah! I'll have you know I'm plenty cute, Jeon Jeongguk," Jimin huffs, affronted. "If you want, I can go ask Dr. Kim right now! I'm sure he agrees—"
"I'm going to tell Taehyungie-hyung you're cheating on him." There. Gotta use the big guns when you need them the most.
This has Jimin squinting suspiciously at him in return, eyes turning into slits. Jeongguk would've rejoiced for successfully shutting Jimin up if it wasn't for the obvious smirk crawling its way onto his face. "Go on then," Jimin eventually urges, his smirk only growing when he notices Jeongguk's scowl, "He knows I love him the most, anyway."
Jeongguk pretends to vomit a little in his mouth and Jimin just laughs at him, loud and high-pitched. He spends the remaining of his ER visit like this, going through the few diagnostic tests required and listening to all of Dr. Kim's instructions like a good patient, all while fervently ignoring Jimin and every single suggestive stare tossed his way whenever Jeongguk and Dr. Kim are within breathing space of each other. It's hard because Jimin can be a force of nature when he wants to be, but Jeongguk isn't one to give in so easily either.
Their battle of wills eventually comes to a halt as soon as Jeongguk's x-ray results are out and Dr. Kim comes back with a bandage in one hand and a pair of crutches in the other. Jeongguk grimaces.
"Thankfully, it's only a minor sprain," Dr. Kim confirms, "but you still have to rest up to let the ligament heal completely."
Dr. Kim drops to his knees in front of Jeongguk again, and it takes everything in Jeongguk not to punch Jimin square on the nose upon seeing the indecent waggle of his eyebrows. "Try not put too much weight on your ankle for a few days," Dr. Kim continues. His hands are gentle and precise as he wraps the bandage around Jeongguk's ankle, applying just enough pressure and support to the injured limb. "Ice the area as soon as you get home and make sure to keep it elevated as often as possible for the next forty-eight hours."
Jeongguk already knows all of these, of course; he'd been there when Jimin had sprained his ankle last year, had always taken some time out of his day to visit Jimin in his dorm and help him move around with his crutches. Still, Jeongguk keeps his silence and makes sure to listen to Dr. Kim like he doesn't know a single thing about treating a sprained ankle.
This attentiveness, in turn, earns Jeongguk another smile from Dr. Kim, his dimple creasing his cheek and eyes curving into crescents the moment he sees Jeongguk watching him work. He loops the wrap one last time around Jeongguk's ankle before finally using the metal clips to secure the remaining bandage.
"All done," Dr. Kim announces. He takes a few seconds to inspect his work then, triple checking if the bandage is tight enough to provide stability to Jeongguk's ankle but not too much that it may decrease blood flow to his foot and toes at some point. It's only when Dr. Kim pats his leg once more in satisfaction does Jeongguk really take a good look at his wrapped limb.
It's definitely not the neatest compression wrap Jeongguk's ever seen, but Dr. Kim's proudly smiling at his handiwork like it's the best he's done so far and, really, who is Jeongguk to burst his bubble and let him know otherwise?
"If it doesn't get better after a couple of weeks, don't hesitate to come and see me again," Dr. Kim advises. He hands Jeongguk his new crutches, quietly hovering on the side just in case Jeongguk needs assistance in holding himself up.
Jeongguk's just about to nod his thanks when Jimin suddenly pipes up beside him, "What if Jeonggukie wants to see you for something else, hyung?"
Dr. Kim raises an eyebrow in curiosity, but still smiles at him all the same. Jeongguk's stomach flutters. "I guess I don't mind seeing Jeongguk a lot more if it's something I can help him with."
Jimin throws a meaningful glance at Jeongguk then, an expression of absolute slyness taking over his face, and says, "Oh, it's something you can definitely help him with, hyung."
Jeongguk doesn't remember being able to move so lightning quick in his life—with surprising dexterity, Jeongguk pushes Jimin out of the hospital cubicle before he can say anything even more embarrassing, leaving a rather confused Dr. Kim behind. Jeongguk feels a little regretful and apologetic that his visit to the ER tonight has to end this way but he's not too sure he can survive being in Dr. Kim's presence if he stays in there any longer, especially when he knows exactly what Jimin's shamelessly hinting at earlier.
Jeongguk groans, wishes he can turn back time to stop Jimin from being such a blabbermouth. Really, he loves Jimin like a real, older brother but right now, Jeongguk honestly feels like giving him a punch or two for pulling shit like that in front of Dr. Kim.
He's probably just overreacting again—for all Jeongguk knows, maybe Dr. Kim's still standing there, just rooted in the same spot where Jeongguk all but left him without a single word, confused and clueless about what actually happened. Maybe he doesn't really need to worry about Dr. Kim figuring out Jeongguk's teeny, tiny crush on him nor does Jeongguk need to be concerned over how he should start acting around Dr. Kim to remain inconspicuous with his teeny, tiny feelings.
Still, it's always better to be safe than sorry so Jeongguk ends up deciding not to go back to that hospital anytime soon, just to be sure.
Jeongguk thinks the universe is mocking him.
No, scratch that—Jeongguk is positive the universe is mocking him. Because why the fuck else is he on his way to the hospital again on another Saturday night if not for that reason alone?
"Not only did you nick yourself while shaving, but you also managed to slice a piece of skin off your bottom lip in the process," Yoongi says, his voice caught in between amusement and incredulity. "That's some amazing work, Jeongguk-ah."
Jeongguk, in the midst of inwardly cussing out the entire universe for his shitty luck, only huffs and slumps further down in his seat. He doesn't exactly need any more reminders of what happened, not when his bottom lip is still stinging and he's certain he can very well be going into shock any second now from the ridiculous amount of blood he's lost for the past two hours (he's exaggerating, just a little bit, but no one is allowed to judge him for being so uncharacteristically pessimistic tonight, okay). Add Yoongi's joshing to the mix and Jeongguk's really just about close to losing it.
"You're supposed to be nice and comforting, hyung." The whine that rides on his words is all but drowned out by Yoongi's snickering, and Jeongguk tries to look put off. "Really, hyung? I'm over here, seriously injured, and you're laughing at me?"
Yoongi scoffs. "No one's died yet from cutting themselves with a razor, Jeongguk. Don't be so overdramatic."
Jeongguk knows that but that doesn't mean he's completely ruled out the possibility of dying from utter embarrassment instead. He's hurt himself an absurd number of times over the past couple of months, probably more than enough to put anyone's hospital record to shame even, and Jeongguk truly hopes no one at the ER is keeping count of all his injuries.
"Is Seokjin hyung working tonight?" Jeongguk asks, if only to give Yoongi something else to focus his attention on.
"No," Yoongi answers. He glances at Jeongguk for a moment, lips pursed as though he's considering the words that'll come out of his mouth in the next second. And then, "But Dr. Kim is."
Jeongguk hopes Yoongi didn’t catch the way his shoulders tense at his statement. He hums, but doesn't say anything else that can possibly give himself away. Up ahead, the stoplight slowly turns red and Yoongi steps on the brake with ease and precision. He shifts in his seat and looks at Jeongguk as soon as the car jolts to a stop, stares at him in a way that always makes Jeongguk feel like Yoongi can see through all of his pretenses and into the depths of his soul. And, well, Yoongi reads him well enough for Jeongguk to realize that it's practically true.
The tension drifting between them is palpable, almost stifling. Until Yoongi finally breaks his silence with a, "Don't think you can hide anything from me, Jeongguk."
"I don't know what you're talking about, hyung."
Yoongi lets out a long sigh and rubs at his temples. It doesn't exactly sound tired, maybe just a little exasperated, and Jeongguk can't help feeling a little guilty at how distressed Yoongi suddenly looks.
"You can’t keep injuring yourself just to get Namjoon's attention," Yoongi continues, blunt and unforgiving.
Jeongguk makes a face at that. Honestly, he would've loudly expressed his protest at Yoongi's words if he wasn't too preoccupied with figuring out how he could prove his point without sounding like he was trying to convince himself more than anything else. It really doesn't help his case that Jeongguk himself has lost count of just how many times he's seen Dr. Kim in the past few weeks.
Far too many times for a normal person, that's for sure.
"Since when were you so close with Dr. Kim?" Jeongguk mutters instead, feeling a little bitter that he didn't even know Dr. Kim's name until today. Hearing Yoongi address Dr. Kim so comfortably, so familiarly, in their conversation isn't exactly helping Jeongguk ignore the sudden twinge of ache in his chest.
"He's my hoobae. Attended the same university together before he went to med school," Yoongi explains, shrugging. Jeongguk digests that information greedily, and the amount of time it takes for him to realize that he doesn't really know anything substantial about Dr. Kim at all has Yoongi scowling at him in the rearview mirror. "Don't change the topic, you brat. I'm serious—you need to stop doing this, Guk."
"I'm not doing anything, I swear," Jeongguk insists, voice low and uptight. He sounds a little defensive, even in his own ears. "I’m just really accident prone, hyung."
Yoongi scoffs, turning half of his attention back on the road as the light turns green again. "Only during the god awful hours of the night?"
Saturday nights, Jeongguk can't help correcting in his head because he's well aware of the fact that Dr. Kim mostly works during Saturdays, but Yoongi doesn't need to know that. Jeongguk shrugs noncommittally.
Yoongi mutters something along the lines of dumb friends and stupid crushes but Jeongguk just purposefully ignores him in favor of looking out the window and letting his own thoughts consume him.
They aren't too far from the hospital now—Jeongguk can practically see the extensive building if he squints just enough, and it's already making him feel a little dizzy from the myriad of emotions brewing inside him. The inevitable possibility of seeing Dr. Kim tonight doesn't completely slip from his mind as well, which only makes it even harder for Jeongguk to concentrate and act like he's totally not dying inside from sheer anxiety.
It's ridiculous because it's not like Jeongguk has a valid reason why he should be feeling this way. Sure, he's admittedly attracted to Dr. Kim and, well—okay Jeongguk might like him a lot more now than he did the last previous visits. But that doesn't necessarily mean he can go around behaving like an elementary school girl with a humongous crush all the damn time.
It's only when a familiar voice cuts through Jeongguk's muddled thoughts that he realizes he's already being dragged by the hand inside the ER, Yoongi's fingers clasped firmly around his wrist. Jeongguk looks up just in time to see Dr. Kim approaching them with quick, long strides.
"Joon-ah," Yoongi drawls. The obvious familiarity in the way he addresses Dr. Kim has Jeongguk silently simmering in jealousy. "Are you busy?"
Dr. Kim shakes his head. "I have time right now. Do you need something, hyung?"
"..Not me exactly," Yoongi says. He tugs Jeongguk closer to him and the little action easily catches Dr. Kim's attention. In a second, Jeongguk has Dr. Kim's gaze boring into his direction, intent and calculating, a quick assessment already running through his head.
Jeongguk can't help but feel self-conscious all of a sudden. He tries not to fidget in his spot, tries to maintain an air of coolness and nonchalance around him, but Jeongguk inevitably finds out pretending is a lot easier said than done when you have the sole attention of one gorgeous doctor in front you.
"I need to take a closer look at your lip and see if any stitching needs to be done. Do you mind coming with me, Jeongguk?"
Jeongguk feels himself immediately pale at the mention of getting stitches. He's pretty sure the cut on his lip isn't too deep, but the amount of blood he's lost earlier has him also wondering if Dr. Kim's assessment is actually right. When Dr. Kim catches his gaze again with that same questioning look on his face, Jeongguk remembers to answer and shakes his head, dutifully following Dr. Kim into one of the empty hospital cubicles.
"So," Dr. Kim starts. He waits for Jeongguk to settle down on the bed for a bit before continuing, "Can you tell me a little bit about what happened?"
Jeongguk shrugs, already feeling the wave of embarrassment crashing in. "Accidentally nicked myself while shaving."
Dr. Kim hums and it's a little surprising how Jeongguk can't hear an ounce of disbelief in that simple response. Jeongguk's just about to say something else when Dr. Kim suddenly leans closer without any preamble, getting almost cross-eyed in an attempt to thoroughly inspect his lip. Jeongguk has to forcefully tamp down the urge to fan his quickly overheating face, lest he wants to make the whole thing awkward for the both of them.
"You did quite a number on your bottom lip," Jeongguk hears Dr. Kim mumble under his breath. He's not too sure what to make of that assessment and he doesn't really want to chance a glimpse at Dr. Kim's face to gauge his expression either, so Jeongguk just closes his mouth and forces himself to sit still.
Fleetingly, Jeongguk thinks he's actually doing a rather excellent job of pretending like the intensity of Dr. Kim's gaze on him isn't doing anything to his poor, poor heart. That is, until there are fingers suddenly curling around the side of his neck and the curve of his jaw, and Jeongguk just barely supresses the urge to shudder at the touch. Oblivious of Jeongguk's inner turmoil, Dr. Kim continues to cradle his face gently in his hands, turning it this way and that, his concentration never waning.
Jeongguk, on the other hand, can't get himself to focus on anything at the moment. He can see the movement of Dr. Kim's lips, can see the frown of his eyebrows if Jeongguk really concentrates hard enough—but, well, that's about everything. He doesn't have any idea what they're talking about, doesn't know jackshit about the things he's nodding his head to, only that he should probably give some kind of response at one point during their conversation because Dr. Kim's looking at him curiously, expectantly, like Jeongguk should know better than to answer with a dead stare.
"—close physical contact like kissing."
"K-kissing?" Jeongguk stutters, his eyes going wide and round like saucers.
Out of all the things his brain could help him focus on, he just really had to latch on that one specific word. What the fuck.
Dr. Kim stares at him for a little while before finally pulling back, giving Jeongguk his much needed space. Jeongguk blows out a little puff of air as soon as he remembers the mechanics of breathing. That was so fucking close. Jeongguk honestly feels like he's going to pass out soon, with the way his heart's still doing a goddamn marathon inside his chest.
Jeongguk's too busy catching his breath that he almost misses the upward curl of Dr. Kim's lips. "Were you even listening to me, Jeongguk?"
Jeongguk obviously wasn't but he couldn't exactly pin the blame on Dr. Kim for being so distracting, could he? Fortunately, Jeongguk doesn't even need to open his mouth—Dr. Kim already seems to know the answer just by the hue of mortification coloring Jeongguk's cheeks.
"Like I said earlier," Dr. Kim repeats, that hint of amusement still laced in his voice, "Since the area around your lips is especially soft and sensitive, it's of utmost importance that you treat it with special care. A cut on the lip is a breeding ground for infection, you know, and these infections can be passed on to others through close physical contact like kissing."
At Jeongguk's soft noise of realization, Dr. Kim shakes his head and smiles. "The cut on your lip isn't too deep to require any stitches but you need to take antibiotics to help with the healing and prevent any further complications."
Jeongguk only nods, relieved to hear that his lips aren't going anywhere near a needle anytime soon.
"For now, it's best that we also treat the wound with an antiseptic cream so it heals cleanly," Dr. Kim says. He starts rummaging through a drawer situated at the foot of the hospital bed, and Jeongguk can't help but laugh when Dr. Kim resurfaces with a soft whoop of victory and a small tube of topical medication in his grasp.
Jeongguk furtively watches as Dr. Kim squeezes out a dollop of cream from the tube and into a cotton swab, careful not to put too much for Jeongguk's small cut. The frown of concentration is back on Dr. Kim's face, as though such a mundane task requires all of his careful attention, and Jeongguk finds it amusing and oddly endearing at the same time.
Maybe if Jeongguk wasn't so busy getting mesmerized with every little thing Dr. Kim did, he'd realize how creepy he might've seem just staring at Dr. Kim like that.
"It's probably not my place to say this but," Dr. Kim turns to him again, almost startling Jeongguk out of his daze, "I'm getting really concerned now, Jeongguk. I'm not sure how you manage to keep injuring yourself for the last two months."
Yoongi, much to Jeongguk's unfortunate luck, chooses that exact moment to slip through the door and remind them of his presence. He plasters himself at one corner of the room, nodding a silent greeting to Dr. Kim and then throwing a knowing smile at Jeongguk's way after.
"My hyungs always said I’m reckless," Jeongguk settles for an answer, shrugging.
Yoongi snorts. "You're a menace to yourself, is what you are."
Jeongguk would've sent an intense glare in Yoongi's direction if he wasn't so distracted by the sight of Dr. Kim valiantly trying not to laugh, his shoulders hitching in little aborted movements. "Looks like you've been worrying a lot of people with your injuries lately. Should I have hyung get you a bubble to live in?"
"Or a babysitter," Yoongi casually throws in.
"I'm not a baby," Jeongguk grouses, "I can handle myself just fine."
Yoongi scoffs, the idea seemingly incredulous for him to comprehend. "Clearly, you can't or your ass wouldn't be here every goddamn week." There's a retort just waiting at the tip of his tongue, but Yoongi beats him to it before Jeongguk can even open his mouth, "Or is there any reason why you don't seem to mind going to the hospital every Saturday night?"
Dr. Kim raises his eyebrow at that, obviously curious, and Jeongguk just wants to die. Or just spontaneously combust into flames, maybe, so Jeongguk can escape this awkward situation with his dignity still intact.
"I can't imagine why you'd want to be here," Dr. Kim wonders out loud, unknowingly saving Jeongguk from any more questions. He then bends down to press the cotton swab on Jeongguk's injured lip, slow and careful. "Hospitals are a terrible place to be in."
"Yet you work in one," Yoongi deadpans.
Dr. Kim dabs the antiseptic cream on Jeongguk's bottom lip a few more times before eventually pulling back, standing up to his full height once again. "That I do," he grins, "But—you know, I guess it's not so bad if I get to treat people like Jeongguk every week."
Dr. Kim playfully winks at him and Jeongguk all but feels his soul leave his body.
Yoongi, still rooted on his spot at the corner, only acknowledges the whole exchange with a dead stare. "Idiots," he mutters, just loud enough for them to hear. "You two are the biggest idiots I know."
"That's not very nice, hyung," Dr. Kim tuts, lips pursed into a mock pout. It would've looked gross and unappealing to anyone else maybe, but to Jeongguk, who's admittedly a little too far gone than anyone expected, it's quite a disgustingly adorable sight.
Jeongguk groans inwardly. When the fuck did he even become this smitten?
"I don't do nice," Yoongi quips. He licks his lips then, gaze suddenly turning sharp and meaningful, "Especially around friends who are too dumb and slow to figure things out on their own."
If Yoongi doesn't stop blabbering, Jeongguk honest-to-god thinks he might actually give in to the urge to give him a punch or two. It's bad enough that Yoongi somehow knows of Jeongguk's (humongous) crush on Dr. Kim; to have him actually dishing out sly hints here and there is, frankly, just terrible for Jeongguk's heart.
Dr. Kim, seemingly hell bent on living up to his name as the densest person Jeongguk's ever met in his entire life, only says, "Keep telling yourself that, hyung."
Jeongguk doesn't know whether to laugh or cry. Yoongi, on the other hand, lets out an exasperated sigh, almost looking like he's about this close to smacking Dr. Kim upside the head for being so damn oblivious. For once, Jeongguk can truly say he feels the same way.
"I'm done here," Yoongi defeatedly says, raising his hands in mock surrender. "I'll go on ahead, let you two finish...things. Don't make me wait for too long though, Jeongguk-ah, or I'll leave your ass behind."
With that, Yoongi slips out just as fast as he came in, leaving Jeongguk and Dr. Kim alone once again. There's a beat of silence that follows after that, with the telltale sound of drawers opening and closing and the occasional rustling of sheets as Jeongguk fidgets on the bed ringing in the almost empty space. It's getting increasingly awkward with each passing second—at least it feels that way for Jeongguk—and neither of them seems to know what to say next. Jeongguk's never really one to initiate conversations and he catches himself desperately wishing for Yoongi to come back, if only to help drive this stilted atmosphere away.
Just then, Dr. Kim clears his throat. He looks just as uneasy as this entire situation is and Jeongguk can't help but feel relieved. It's always a little comforting to know that he's not completely alone in his awkwardness. "Hyung always says the weirdest things, don't mind him," Dr. Kim laughs, sounding a little off. Jeongguk feels the gnawing itch to throw those same words back at him because, clearly, whatever offhanded remark Yoongi had said earlier affected Dr. Kim in some way, if the tense line of his shoulders is anything to go by. "Anyway, your lip should heal in a few days without any complication. Try not to eat any hard or crunchy food for a while to avoid reopening the wound, and make sure to drink lots of water to hydrate yourself."
Jeongguk nods, mentally listing the do's and don't's so he won't forget. Just as things are wrapping up, Dr. Kim smiles and hands him a prescription, his handwriting barely neat and legible.
"Oh, and Jeongguk," Dr. Kim starts, which minutely stops Jeongguk from leaving the cubicle further. He turns back around and looks at the doctor expectantly. After a short pause, one that has Jeongguk holding his breath for some reason, Dr. Kim continues, "Please be careful next time."
It's a simple comment, but Jeongguk can quite literally feel his face brighten from those words alone. He cracks a small smile, his heart beating wildly in the base of his throat somewhere. "I'll try my best, hyung."
"Where is he? Where is he?"
"Taehyungie hyung, stop—"
"He's supposed to be working tonight, right? You said he's gonna be here!"
"Wait, I think I see him! Is he that hot guy in white, Jeonggukie?"
Taehyung's loud, excited voice is enough to have several people within hearing range whip their heads in their direction and Jeongguk quickly feels like digging a hole somewhere to hide in embarrassment. Jimin, who looks and feels just as mortified by the sudden, unnecessary attention they're getting, only facepalms before forcefully pulling Taehyung down to settle beside him.
"Kim Taehyung, sit your ass down," Jimin hisses.
Taehyung pouts at him, clearly miffed at having been reprimanded like he was some unruly child messing around at the candy store, but still occupies the empty seat beside Jimin nonetheless. He sulks in his place for a bit, the downturn of his lips getting exponentially harder to ignore by the second, and Jeongguk knows it won't be long now before Jimin gives in like he usually does.
Unsurprisingly, it happens sooner than expected. Jeongguk sees the exact moment Jimin eventually relents to Taehyung's cuteness—the way his posture relaxes with something akin to resignation, the way the corners of his mouth twitch as he tries his hardest not to smile, even the exaggeratedly loud sigh that slips past his lips. To anyone else, Jimin might appear as though he's completely done dealing with Taehyung's antics. To Jeongguk, however, he just looks much the same as he always does around Taehyung—stupidly indulgent and so fucking whipped.
Jeongguk rolls his eyes. He probably would've gotten back at Jimin for almost throwing him under the bus the last time if he wasn't so hellbent on being one with the wall instead. It hasn't even been a full hour since they arrived and, yet, they've already attracted quite the attention during the entirety of Taehyung's enthusiastic mission to find out who Dr. Kim was among the medical staff present at the ER. Fortunately for Jeongguk, the hot guy in white Taehyung had so loudly pointed out earlier was actually not Dr. Kim, but rather one of the nurses who had probably seen Jeongguk come once or twice for his almost weekly hospital consultation during the past month.
Relief quickly washes over him. Imminently followed by regret for even letting his friends talk him into going to the hospital today. Jeongguk really should've known something was up when they insisted on getting himself checked when he's clearly just fine.
"Let's just go home, hyung," Jeongguk says, trying (and ultimately failing) to mask the disappointment in his voice. There's really no reason why he should be feeling this way, not when Jeongguk didn't even want to be here in the first place but, somehow, that still doesn't stop the sadness from blooming in his chest.
"But what about seeing Dr. Kim," Taehyung whines.
Jimin frowns and smacks him right on the shoulder. "Yah! Forget about Dr. Kim for a second," he chides. Taehyung's frown is almost instantaneous on his lips but Jimin willfully ignores him and shifts his gaze to Jeongguk instead, worry evident in the furrow of his brow. "What about your hand, Jeonggukie?"
"It's fine, hyung. I'll just put ice on it or something. I'm pretty sure—"
Jeongguk looks up at the sound of his name, his eyes widening in recognition as soon as he sees the person standing in front of him. "Dr. Jung!" he greets, getting up from his seat and giving a bow of respect. When Jeongguk stands up to his full height once again, he notices the familiar smile plastered on Dr. Jung's face, big and bright like always, and it has Jeongguk grinning shyly at him in return.
"Here again, huh?" Dr. Jung teases. There's nothing malicious in the way he subtly jabs at seeing Jeongguk for the umpteenth time back at the ER; still, Jeongguk can't help but flush at having been caught. While Dr. Jung wasn't always Jeongguk's doctor for his recently frequent visits, it seemed that word did travel fast.
Wordlessly, Jeongguk raises his injured hand as a response. Dr. Jung only hums, no doubt taking a quick assessment from what little detail he can gather up close. And then, "Another one to add to your alarming list of injuries in the last two months?"
"Hopefully not," Jeongguk answers, frowning.
Dr. Jung smiles sympathetically. "I'd take a closer look at your hand, but I'm actually in a hurry right now," his expression then morphs into a grimace as he lifts up the clipboard for Jeongguk to see, "Still got a lot of patients to attend to before the day ends."
"Oh, it's fine! Don't worry about it—"
"I can get someone else to look that over, though? If you want?"
The concern etched across Dr. Jung's features is so clear and honest that Jeongguk can't get himself to say no even if he tries. "Um, okay. Sure."
When Dr. Jung eventually leaves him with a wave and a promise to have another doctor check him up real soon, Jeongguk finds himself slumping back down into his seat with a sigh. He could've declined the offer so easily, could've made some really flimsy excuses about why he couldn't stay longer, but there was some greater force out there that made Jeongguk want to stay despite his earlier reluctance.
A flicker of hope, maybe. Or stupidity? Jeongguk sighs again. Well, whatever it is, it's certainly not making Jeongguk's life any easier right now.
Jimin, who's been sitting by his side all this time, mistakes his little noise of frustration as a sign of discomfort. He purses his lips, concerned, and Jeongguk almost hears the words right out of his mouth even before Jimin can say them. "Does it hurt a lot?"
"Not really," Jeongguk answers placatingly. Jimin only stares at him in return, obviously trying to gauge whether Jeongguk's lying straight to his face or not. "I'm serious, hyung. It doesn't even hurt a bit!"
That's a lie—it does hurt, but not too much that Jeongguk thinks it warrants any medical attention.
"You're totally lying," Taehyung chimes in, grinning. "Your voice gets a little higher than usual when you're lying through your teeth, Jeonggukie."
Jimin nods. "And you tend to talk too confidently, too."
"I do not—"
"You do," Jimin insists, "so we're not going home until you have that hand checked."
Taehyung hums in agreement beside him. "Not going home until we see your hot guy in white."
Jeongguk groans just as Jimin rolls his eyes skyward. "In case you haven't noticed yet, almost everyone here is wearing white, Tae," Jimin says, a little exasperatedly, although anyone within fifty foot radius can tell the obvious fondness in his voice.
Not for the first time, Jeongguk wonders why he has friends like Taehyung and Jimin when he can just stay at home as a social recluse instead.
Just as Jeongguk opens his mouth to loudly proclaim about breaking their friendship once and for all, one of the female staff suddenly comes up to stand in front of them. She's pretty—fair skinned, almond-shaped eyes, and long black hair tied neatly at the nape of her neck. Not much smaller compared to Jeongguk as well, probably falls a little too close to his height. She can totally be Jeongguk's type if he's even the slightest bit into girls.
"Mr. Jeon?" she asks, unsure, her gaze flitting among the three of them. When Jeongguk finally points to himself, he can see her face brighten up considerably. "The doctor is ready to see you now."
Jeongguk instantly gets up and follows the nurse into a tiny room, leaving Taehyung and Jimin behind by the waiting area. He takes a deep breath before stepping inside, however, curious and nervous to see what he'll find on the other side.
"I thought Hoseok was just messing with me when he told me you were here."
Jeongguk closes his eyes in resignation. He's not entirely sure what he was expecting but maybe he really, really should've seen this coming by now.
"Something about a hand injury?" Dr. Kim asks. Something about the anxious tone of his voice has Jeongguk opening his eyes and grunting in response. "Come sit down and let me take a look."
Almost like a puppet pulled by a string, Jeongguk mechanically walks to the bed and sits on it. Dr. Kim holds out his hand then, and it takes Jeongguk a heartbeat or two to realize that he's supposed to do the same as well.
When Jeongguk does finally come to his senses, though, he bashfully places his injured hand in Dr. Kim's outstretched ones, consciously mindful of the way Dr. Kim immediately holds it with such gentle fingers. Dr. Kim's hand is warm and a little calloused in some places, just slightly bigger than his own, and Jeongguk tries not to revel in the slight shiver that travels down his spine at their contact.
"Tell me what happened?"
"I shut my hand in my friend's car door," Jeongguk mumbles in one breath, trying not to curl into himself from how stupid and embarrassing that sounds, "and I think it might be broken."
"Can you move your fingers?" Dr. Kim asks.
Jeongguk nods and does as he's told, tentatively clenching and unclenching his fist once, then twice, before eventually doing it again for a few more times. He can see Dr. Kim staring so intently at his fingers, at the way Jeongguk experimentally bends and moves them one by one. Jeongguk knows it's nothing out of the ordinary but the intense focus in Dr. Kim's gaze makes him squirm nonetheless.
"That's good," Dr. Kim hums, still holding Jeongguk's hand. "It’s not broken if you can move them just fine."
Jeongguk, despite the good news, finds himself frowning at Dr. Kim all the same. "That's what I also said, hyung! But my friends were there when it happened and they panicked and insisted I come here to get it checked, so here I am."
"So here you are," Dr. Kim parrots with an amused smile.
He doesn't let go of Jeongguk, only continues to lightly press his fingertips here and there, asking Jeongguk if anything hurts, before turning his hand over and inspecting if there are any noticeable breaks in the skin. Dr. Kim's meticulous as always, careful but thorough, and it warms Jeongguk's heart more than he cares to admit.
"How many injuries has it been now, Jeongguk?" Dr. Kim asks with genuine curiosity. Jeongguk tries to mentally count, but the instant loss of warmth when Dr. Kim eventually lets go of his hand makes it a little hard for him to concentrate. "I don't really know how Yoongi hyung can even trust you out of the house anymore."
"He doesn't." Jeongguk pouts. He's pretty sure Yoongi's just one more hospital visit away from finally wrapping him up in bubble wrap.
Dr. Kim laughs, dimple digging deep into his cheek. "I'm not surprised." He then turns around to grab some paperwork and Jeongguk barely misses his next words, "Seriously, though, we need to stop meeting like this, Jeongguk."
Jeongguk's ears ring. At this point, he can't stop the kindling flame from igniting into a burning fire of hope even if he tries. Jeongguk tries to stay calm, forces every living atom he's made of to just chill. Quickly, he sends a silent prayer of 'thank you' that his friends have decided to stay in the waiting area instead of tagging along. They would've never let Jeongguk live this down.
"Are you suggesting we meet somewhere else then, hyung?" Jeongguk asks cheekily. He doesn't really know what suddenly prompted him to be this bold—just that Jeongguk finally saw the chance, grabbed it without thinking, and had opened his mouth before he could even second guess himself.
The silence that follows stretches on for too long and Jeongguk's face feels like it’s about to catch fire. Surely, he didn't just imagine the strange flirting thing they've got going on for weeks now, did he? Worrying his bottom lip, Jeongguk wonders if his delusions have gone too far. If this is all just going to blow up in his face or not.
Jeongguk almost gives in to the urge to hide under the bed when he sees Dr. Kim cock his head to the side in thought, looking a little pensive and hesitant at the same time.
"Well," Dr. Kim starts, cheeks already tinting the slightest bit of pink, "this hospital has really shitty coffee and I heard a new cafe just opened a few blocks from here so.."
Dr. Kim trails off, chewing on his bottom lip. He suddenly looks tense, verging on fearful, as though he's ready to take those words back any second now and stuff them down his throat. Blood suddenly roars in Jeongguk's ears. He's never seen nor heard this kind of petrified hesitance from Dr. Kim before and Jeongguk wonders if he's also hit his head too hard earlier and just can't remember.
Jeongguk blinks. Waits for the punchline of this terrible, terrible joke. Waits for the other shoe to drop. Waits for anything.
When nothing eventually happens, though, Jeongguk's eyes widen. The world around him seems to evaporate little by little. "Wait, really?"
Dr. Kim must have mistaken Jeongguk's surprise as refusal and he splutters, hands frantically waving in front of him like he suddenly doesn't know what to do with them. "If you don't want to, that's fine! I just thought—"
"No, no, it's okay! I want to!" Jeongguk nearly screams, wincing at the pitch of his voice. His brain is still having one hell of a time processing what just happened to him. "Coffee is good! Coffee is fine!"
Oh God. Fucking shut your mouth, Jeon Jeongguk.
Dr. Kim relaxes and laughs, tries to hide his blushing face behind his hand. "Tomorrow afternoon, then?"
That soon? Jeongguk wants to tease, raise a sassy eyebrow with his pulse stuttering underneath his skin. But there's warmth suddenly unfurling in his chest, spreading outwards until Jeongguk can feel it tingling in every fingertip, and he finds himself helpless to do anything but smile back.
"Okay," Jeongguk breathes out.
Dr. Kim hums, smiling. Heat continues to flare in Jeongguk's stomach. "That's settled then."
If Jeongguk leaves the hospital cubicle with a smitten look on his face, smile so wide his cheeks bunch up, none of his friends are stupid enough to point it out.
Well, it's not like he'd tell them that he'd scored a date with a hot doctor, anyway.