The moment Younghoon woke up, 4 a.m. in the morning, he felt wrong. He woke up with a splitting headache, feeling hot and cold at the same time, and he could definitely feel his body burning up. After turning and tossing for an hour, he forced himself out of his bed. Juyeon was sleeping soundly so he quietly opened the door, trying his best not to wake his roommate up. He dragged himself to the kitchen and opened one of the cabinets. He popped a pill into his mouth and swallowed it with the help of water. Too weak and not wanting to disturb Juyeon and Sunwoo (who was sleeping in the living room), Younghoon sat down at the dining table and ultimately fell asleep.
The first member that woke up was Eric. He was going into the kitchen to get some milk from the fridge when he spotted Younghoon asleep by the dining table. “Hyung! Hyung!” the maknae called. Younghoon woke up groggily, still not feeling well, but better. “Why are you sleeping here?” Eric asked while pouring the milk into a glass. “You want some?” Eric offered. Younghoon simply shook his head and stood up. “Where are you going?” the maknae asked. “Bed,” Younghoon replied. “You’ve just woke up and don’t forget that we have dance practice later in the afternoon. Sangyeon-hyung said that we might go out for brunch together. Are you sure you wanna sleep again? Or should I wake you up when we’re going? Or maybe an hour before we’re going so you can prepare yourself?” Eric babbled like usual. Younghoon had been used to Eric talking non-stop but he didn’t have the energy to properly reply to his youngest brother of the group so he simply mumbled “Mmhmm” and nodded before heading back to his bed.
Juyeon was already awake when Younghoon went back into his room. It was right for Juyeon to be included into the ‘Bermuda line’, because even with the messy bed hair and half-opened eyes, this boy still managed to look good. “Someone said we gonna eat out?” he mumbled. Younghoon nodded while heading straight to his bed. “You weren’t in the room when I woke up at dawn. Where were you? Living room with Sunwoo?” Juyeon asked. “Fell asleep in the dining room,” Younghoon replied as he wrapped himself up with blanket. “I see. What do you think we’re going?” Younghoon simply ignored him trying to ease the pain in his head, and having no reply, Juyeon ultimately left the room for shower.
Only having peace and quiet for a couple of minutes, Younghoon felt someone shaking him. “Hyung, Eric told me to wake you up. We’re leaving in an hour.” Sunwoo said. Younghoon grunted, burying himself deeper into the blanket while mumbling “no”. “Younghoon hyung said ‘No’!!” Sunwoo shouted. “Hyung, you have to take a shower before we go out. What if we meet our fans and you smell bad?” Eric said. “I’m not going,” Younghoon mumbled. He wished that they could just leave him alone. “You’re really not going? It’s our comeback soon. We won’t have time to have fun together, you know?” Eric pouted. Younghoon shook his head and Sunwoo let out a sigh. “Let him be. He probably wants to get more sleep before comeback.” Sunwoo said. Younghoon felt bad but he really didn’t have the energy. An hour later before they’re leaving, Sangyeon came in to check on Younghoon. He was expecting him to be asleep but Younghoon was sitting up on his bed instead. “You really not going?” Sangyeon asked. Younghoon turned his head to Sangyeon and mumbled a ‘no, sorry’. “It’s okay.” Sangyeon smiled. For Sangyeon, Younghoon is like a little kid even though he’s not the youngest in the group. Younghoon has always been a little quiet than the others, observing everyone, laughing at other members’ silly acts. He’s like a little puppy that you would want to protect and shower with lots of love. “We’re probably come back in around two hours. I’ve sent the location to you in case you change your mind.”
Sangyeon and the others left after that. The truth was Younghoon felt even worse. He was going to give in and tell Sangyeon about him being sick. But he decided not to because he didn’t want to ruin their plans. Furthermore, they’re going to have dance practice in the afternoon for their comeback. If they knew that he wasn’t feeling well, they would never let him go. He was about to get some meds when he suddenly felt sick. He immediately ran to the bathroom, puking his guts out into the toilet. When he was done letting everything out, he sat down on the floor as tears started to fall. He felt stupid crying over a fever, but he couldn’t control it. He felt so uncomfortable and he really wanted someone with him. Being sick made him miss his home and parents even more. Younghoon only realized he had been spending too long in the bathroom when Changmin called him. “Yeah?” Younghoon answered the phone. “You want anything? We’re heading back to the dorm and then we’re leaving for practice after that,” Changmin said. “No, it’s fine. Thanks.”
“Are you ok? Your voice sounds different.”
“I’m fine. Voices always sound different in phone calls.” Younghoon lied. His throat was sore after throwing up. “Uhh.. Okay then,” Changmin said, “Call me if you need anything.”
“Mmhmm. Okay.” Younghoon replied.
Younghoon took a lukewarm shower after hanging up the phone call. They were coming back and he didn’t want them to see the mess he had become and he definitely smelt like vomit. The members got home a while after he finished taking shower. “You done? We should go now,” Jaehyun said. During the ride to practice, Younghoon sat at the corner, pressing his forehead onto the cool window. “Is Younghoon hyung mad or something? He’s extremely quiet today.” Hyunjoon said to Juyeon. Juyeon simply shrugged. “He has always been a little quiet though.” He replied. But still, Juyeon felt that there was something off about Younghoon.
Practice was literally hell for Younghoon. He tried to focus but the pounding of his head wasn’t helping at all. It was like he had no control over his own limbs and he kept making mistakes. “Younghoon, it’s right foot first. And your movements should be more energetic.” The instructor let out a sigh. “I’m sorry.” Younghoon mumbled. They had been repeating the same moves over and over because Younghoon just couldn’t do it right. “Maybe we should take a break first?” Changmin suggested. “Fifteen minutes” The instructor announced, before leaving the room, frustrated. Younghoon felt bad for dragging the team down, so he kept on practicing on his own. “You should probably take a break.” Jacob said. Younghoon shook his head. “It’s fine. I’m not tired,” Younghoon insisted, even though he was literally panting as he spoke. He could barely see well and his legs were shaking, but he kept telling himself that he will rest after getting this move right. “It’s okay. Take a break. We can continue later,” Kevin patted his head. “I’ll show you the moves later. Rest first, okay?” Changmin assured him. “I’m sorry,” Younghoon said as he broke into tears. “Ahhh.. It’s okay, hoon-ah.” Jacob said. “Silly hyung. No need to cry over this.” Sunwoo cooed. Being sick really made Younghoon a cry baby. “Have some water,” Kevin said as he was about to hand him a bottle of water. But Younghoon held his hand up, covered his mouth with the other as he walked out of the practice room. “We should probably check on him,” Sangyeon said. “We’ll go.” Kevin said as he went out of the practice room with Sunwoo.
The two of them found Younghoon throwing up into the toilet. “Hey, hey. It’s gonna be fine. It’s okay.” Kevin said as he rubbed Younghoon’s back. “Throw it up. You’re gonna feel better.” He continued. Sunwoo reached his hand out and put his palm onto Younghoon’s forehead. “He’s burning up”
“Yeah, I can feel the heat. You should’ve told us.” Kevin muttered.
“We should’ve realized.” Sunwoo sighed.
When Younghoon was done, he sat down onto the floor, his energy drained.
“You should’ve told us you weren’t feeling well. We left you alone at the dorm. What if something happened to you?” Kevin said as he put his palm onto Younghoon’s forehead. “Stop nagging, you’re making him cry.” Sunwoo said as he pushed Kevin away. “Can you stand?” He asked and Younghoon nodded. Both of them helped Younghoon up and walked back to the practice room. “Geez you’re such a stupid kid sometimes, Younghoon-hyung.” Sunwoo said. “Yah! Now you’re the one nagging him.” Kevin protested.”Well at least I’m not nagging at him when he’s on the floor, puking his guts out.”
“He has a fever. He should probably head back to the dorm,” Kevin said to the others as they came back to the practice room. “What? Really?” Haknyeon felt Younghoon’s body. “How did you even manage to practice just now?”
Younghoon pouted, the kind of pout that he does when he’s trying not to cry. “I’m sorry I didn’t realize.” Changmin hugged him. “You should’ve told me if you aren’t well. We share a room. I feel like a bad roommate” Juyeon ruffled Younghoon’s hair. “I don’t want to bother. Comeback is close.” Younghoon said. “I’ll ask manager-hyung to get you home, okay?” Sangyeon said. Younghoon shook his head. “Hyung, you should be resting.” Eric protested. “There’s no one home.” Younghoon muttered. With that sentence, Younghoon got everyone soft. Well, who in this world doesn’t have a soft spot for Younghoon anyway? Jaehyun sighed. “I think Changmin, Juyeon and I should be okay to leave with Younghoon.”
Changmin nodded. “I’ll tell him.”
As expected, the instructor let them leave first as they were good enough. “You should’ve told me. Now I feel bad for scolding you. Kid, you gotta take care of your body first before anything else. How will you perform well if you don’t take good care of yourself? For now, just rest well and when you’re back, I want you to dance without any mistakes, you understand me?” the instructor patted Younghoon’s shoulder and Younghoon nodded, muttering a thank you.
“Where are we going?” Younghoon asked, head leaning on Changmin’s shoulder, when he realized that they were not on the usual way home. “Well someone needs to get your fever down quick and none of us are doctors, don’t you think so?” Jaehyun replied. Younghoon frowned. “I’m not that sick, you know.”
“You can barely stand up. Your brain is being fried. You are, indeed, very sick.” Changmin said.
“You do want to perform well for comeback, don’t you?” Jaehyun sighed and Younghoon nodded. “Then you have to get well soon, okay?” Jaehyun ruffled his hair.
Younghoon got his shot at the clinic and for someone who looks so soft, he sure endured pain well. He didn’t flinch or anything during the shot, only pursed his lips and got through it while both Jaehyun and Changmin shuddered thinking about getting shots.
They got back to the dorm after that with Changmin and Jaehyun fussing over Younghoon to take his meds and made him sleep. Soon after that Younghoon fell asleep and it broke their hearts knowing that Younghoon practiced so hard while being sick and NONE of them realized.
When the rest of the members came back after practice, they were immediately looking for Younghoon. “Hyung!! Are you getting better now? We brought food!” Eric yelled. “Shhh! He’s sleeping!” Jaehyun said. “Is he okay?” Juyeon asked. “His fever subsided. But it’s still pretty high.” Changmin replied. “Younghoon-hyung!” Hyunjoon smiled when he saw Younghoon coming out of his room. All of them immediately gathered around Younghoon, fussing over him, telling him to eat, telling him to go back to sleep. Younghoon let out a weak chuckle, “I can’t breathe with all of you around me. I’m hungry though.”Younghoon said, as he indeed, hadn’t had a meal since he woke up.
“We brought lots of food. Let’s eat!” Sunwoo said.
“I’m sleeping in Younghoon-hyung’s room tonight! I can take Sunwoo’s bed.” Eric said clinging onto Younghoon. Sunwoo pushed Eric off Younghoon. “It’s MY bed. I did not give you the permission to use it.” Eric pouted, saying that Sunwoo doesn’t sleep in his room anyway; he had always been using the living room. “Well, I’m taking my bed tonight. So don’t even think about it.”
“Well I can just share a bed with Juyeon-hyung then.”
“No.” Juyeon said. “Just no.”
Eric pouted and Younghoon assured him that he would be just fine, that the other members shouldn’t worry too much. But during the night, Younghoon’s fever got higher and both Juyeon and Sunwoo woke up to the sound of retching. Younghoon was making his way out of his room while Juyeon followed him. Sunwoo immediately called Sangyeon up along with Jacob, while the rest of the members basically woke up from the commotion. “Just throw it all up. You will feel better then.” Juyeon said as he rubbed Younghoon’s back in circles. Younghoon’s eyes were bloodshot and it hurt to see him like this. He was clearly uncomfortable and Juyeon could only wished that he could take the pain away for him. “I’ll take a new shirt for him.” Jacob said. “I didn’t mean to wake all of you.” Younghoon mumbled. “Oh, hyung. It’s okay. I would rather lose some sleep than letting you on your own.” Sunwoo said.
After Younghoon changed into a fresh shirt, they helped him into the living room where all the other members were. They turned the couch into a bed, with lots of blankets, plushies and pillows, making sure that Younghoon was comfortable. They made Younghoon to take meds again while taking turns to put a wet cloth on his forehead. After Younghoon’s fever subsided and he fell asleep, Sangyeon urged the others to go back to their own rooms but none of them moved. And that was how all twelve of them fell asleep in the living room, cuddling onto one another.
Younghoon’s fever rose and fell for three days but he managed to fully recover with all other members watching over him 24/7. But even after he recovered, the members kept fussing over him. “You’re quiet lately.” One of them would say. “Are you sick?” they would force a thermometer into Younghoon’s house. “The thermometer didn’t break, did it?” they would press their palms onto his forehead after seeing the results.
Younghoon hasn’t had peace after getting sick. They’re always suspicious, saying that Younghoon’s too quiet. But the thing is, they seemed to have forgotten that Younghoon has ALWAYS been a little quiet, and enjoys the time alone by himself, not disturbed by others. But well, occasionally fussed around by them felt good anyway, Younghoon thinks. And maybe, he doesn’t fancy being alone either, because he would take any chances to be surrounded by his big family here.