Han Yang never knew the hospital was so close to the apartment. He was not quite sure, but guessed it must have taken at least ten minutes before he was again lifted into HeLian Qing’s embrace as they entered the building.
There, the doctor asked a few questions, did an examination, then said he was suffering from acute gastroenteritis and although it was not a very severe case of the illness, the pain would unfortunately be a lot to bear. The physician then proceeded to write a prescription for the medicine Han Yang needed, after which he prompted a nurse to start an IV for the lad. He then had HeLian Qing follow him to his office in order to fill out a medical record for the ill boy.
[T/n: IV – intravenous therapy]
“Does the patient have any allergies to medication?” The doctor asked.
“No.” HeLian Qing answered.
“Are you sure you don’t need to go ask him?” The doctor stopped writing, raising his gaze towards the man.
“There’s no need.” HeLian Qing stated, his expression remaining unchanged.
Taking the medical record with him when he left the doctor’s office, his eyes swept over the chart as he snorted.
I know more about that kid than he himself knows.
HeLian Qing did not go directly to the pharmacy, but instead first went back to Han Yang’s room to check up on him.
The lad was in the same curled position he had before with one hand clutching his stomach but now the other had a IV-line attached, while his face was still drenched in that same pallid hue.
HeLian Qing made his way over to him, from the small box atop the cabinet by the bedside, he took out a couple of tissues, then began wiping the perspiration that formed on the boy’s forehead.
Feeling his movements, Han Yang’s eyes soon opened.
“Does it feel a little better?” the man asked, using his finger to push aside the other’s sweat soaked bangs, inwardly hoping he was able to feel even the smallest amount of relief.
Unfortunately, the medicine was given not that long ago so for the time being there was not that much of a difference, but Han Yang nevertheless nodded, “Thank you.”
“En.[Okay]” HeLian Qing sat down on the stool beside him. Han Yang still had two-thirds of the liquid in the IV bag left and given that, the man was in no hurry to go get the prescription filled, nor was he anxious to leave just yet.
Afterwards, Han Yang still tried to vomit two separate times, inside his stomach had become absolutely deserted to the point where even stomach acid would not come out. So now, every time he retched, he felt as if there were countless hands all squeezing his gut and that feeling was extremely difficult for him to endure.
HeLian Qing knew the boy was still suffering from the pain, sadly, he also knew there was nothing much he could do about it. He could only give him sips of water to drink, so even if he did vomit again, he could at the very least feel a just a tad better.
Fortunately, the attached IV also contained some painkillers and after a while Han Yang’s pain was slowly alleviated, even if it was only by a small degree. Although his complexion still had that terribly pale tinge, his expression in contrast, became more gentle as his features relaxed.
At this moment, HeLian Qing’s heart finally settled. He reached over to the cabinet, putting the used cup aside then once again pulled out a couple of paper towels, assisting Han Yang by dabbing away the sweat which formed on his ears and neck.
Feeling how tenderly the perspiration from his face was being wiped away by the man’s hand was incredibly hard for him to believe. He was so astounded that he had not even realised, presently on his face, was the first smile he had directed towards HeLian Qing since they became acquainted with one another.
He then, to the silent man before his eyes, said, “I feel much better now, thank you.”
When the wordless man’s gaze finally caught sight of that smile, that hand of his occupied with cleaning away those wet droplets came to a very sudden halt. The used tissue he held was tossed into the trash bin beside his feet, after which he then reached for the blanket spread over the boy, pulled it up, simply replying, “Why are you always talking so much nonsense? I’m heading out to go get your medicine, so behave yourself and don’t move. If you need anything, just press the buzzer next to you. “With that statement, he didn’t wait for Han Yang’s reply, just doing an about-turn then left the ward.
Han Yang stared on at the withdrawing figure, not exactly understanding the reason behind it, before a sudden soft laugh escaped him.
Thankfully, the pharmacy was not that far away from the hospital, it was located just right next door, therefore HeLian Qing got back to the room very quickly. Upon his return he immediately lowered his hand, resting it on Han Yang’s forehead to check his temperature, noticing it was no longer as scalding hot as it was before as well as his once tightly crinkled face seeming slightly more at ease. Seeing this, he gave the younger man some water, then got him to swallow the medicine.
Noticing Han Yang staring at him, he asked, “Do you still want to vomit?” To which the boy replied by simply shaking his head in denial.
HeLian Qing nodded before reaching to pull up the blanket again. This time even the hand attached to the IV drip was covered, “Then just go to sleep.”
“What about you?”, Han Yang asked.
HeLian Qing, with a twinge of impatience responded, “Listen you, just lie down and get some sleep. Since when do kids talk so much? I’m not going anywhere. I’ll just stay here to wipe your sweat and give you water.”
Han Yang, “……”
Recalling how he was just a while ago throwing up in the waste basket, Han Yang’s face was suddenly overtaken with a splash of red. He shrunk under the cover of the blanket, stopping when the comforter was at his chin. Softly, he hummed in agreement to the man’s request then proceeded to close his eyes.
Having tossed and turned until midnight, Han Yang was indeed quite tired and very sleepy. It was not easy for him to get comfortable but once he did, he nodded off to sleep quite quickly.
Just as he said, HeLian Qing did not go anywhere. He simply sat on the chair beside the boy’s bed keeping close watch. Han Yang still had two more bags of IV left, so he needed to observe them and be ready to call in a nurse to switch them once one was finished.
His cellphone vibrated in his pocket suddenly. Displayed on it’s screen was a new message. Currently, it was the wee hours of the morning, almost two o’clock. HeLian Qing wondered who would possibly be sending a message that late, as he unlocked the screen to see the following two words: “Han Yang”.
[[Today I’ll be going to a group dinner with some classmates so I can’t make it back in time for dinner since I’ll probably return a bit late. There’s still leftovers from lunch in the fridge, you can just reheat it to eat ]]
That message was sent to him at two in the afternoon and it explained why Han Yang did not return for dinner. He could not of fathomed the internet would somehow delay his receipt of the message until this very moment.
HeLian Qing slowly read the message a couple times more before putting the phone away, his eyes then turned towards Han Yang’s face. A good while had passed since the younger man had been fast asleep. His face was now halfway concealed under the covers with only the bridge of his nose, as well as that bright and clean forehead of his, exposed.
HeLian Qing stood up, reached for Han Yang’s quilt, dragging it down just a little, “Not too worried about suffocating, are you?”
Still standing beside the bed, he gently touched Han Yang’s face. The lad’s skin was very smooth, HeLian Qing’s hand—for a while—lingered on that place before taking hold of the buzzer, pressing it to call in a nurse to change out the IV bag.
The middle of the night.
Because of the intravenous drip, Han Yang woke up in the middle of the night wanting to use the toilet. His eyes opened to see by his bedside, leaning back in a chair and sound asleep, none other than HeLian Qing. The man was especially tall. As he sat in slumber, one of his legs was bent whilst the other stretched out straight, both his arms lay folded across his chest and his head tilted downwards, so all Han Yang could see on his face was the bridge of his nose.
When HeLian Qing had rushed to the hospital with Han Yang in tow, he had only dressed himself casually. The hem of his shirt was left untucked, his hair was not as neatly combed as it usually was, and he still wore his house slippers on his feet. Compared to his usual self, this image was like the difference between the heavens and the earth.
The night was also a little chilly, seeing the man there by his beside watching over him, a complex blob of emotions stirred within his heart .
His IV line had been removed and even though his stomach still felt slightly uncomfortable, it was more bearable than it had been. Han Yang then remembered before he had fallen asleep, he still had two bags of medicine left. Given the slow rate at which the drops we’re administered, he deduced HeLian Qing must have been keeping watch for at least two hours, perhaps even longer.
Given the two had only known each other for a brief amount of time, within Han Yang’s heart, Helian Qing’s temperament was not that great, his mouth was even more so, with that venomous tongue of his that could strike a person dead. Yet last night, that man more than anyone else, made him feel at ease. His tongue was still as deadly, of course, but that man looking after him made it clear he cared.
Gazing at the sleeping HeLian Qing, he suddenly became confused, not understanding at all exactly why this man was being so good to him.
After being lost in thought for a moment, Han Yang lifted off the covers with the intention of getting down from the bed then head to the bathroom. Sadly, he discovered he had no shoes on. What made things even better was HeLian Qing, who sat directly facing him, woke up abruptly leaving two people and their four eyes, all staring at one another.
Noticing Han Yang’s movements, Helian Qing stood in front of him, eyebrows wrinkling, “Where are you going? Is your illness still making you uncomfortable?”
Lifting his head to look at the man wearing the slightly displeased expression, Han Yang replied, “……I need to use the restroom.”
“Do you feel sick? I’ll go call the doctor.” HeLian Qing thought he wanted to vomit so he turned, leaving to go get the physician. He was in such a hurry he even forgot about the buzzer at the bedside. Han Yang grabbed hold of him, “Wait a second.”
HeLian Qing turned, staring at him.
Han Yang awkwardly explained, “You don’t need to call the doctor, I just……need to use the toilet.”
It was likely that the image of Han Yang vomiting earlier that night affected him so deeply he had to reconfirm, “It’s doesn’t have anything to do with you being sick, right? You just have to use the toilet, yeah?”
Han Yang never expected, that normally cold and arrogant man would use such an earnest expression while asking him about this matter, therefore he could only nod shyly, “Can I borrow your shoes for a little bit?
Due the urgency with which they had left, Han Yang had not worn any shoes. HeLian Qing’s gaze drifted down to Han Yang’s naked feet—stalling—until the boy awkwardly withdrew them. Just as usual, huh? Helian Qing sat close to Han Yang, removing his own slippers before he gave them to the boy.
“Thank you.” Han Yang wore the slippers then left for the bathroom.
“Would you like me to carry you there?” HeLian Qing asked from behind.
“……” Remembering the image of HeLian Qing carrying him down from the apartment made Han Yang’s ears flush scarlet. He simply said, he was okay, before scurrying off to the toilet.
HeLian Qing’s mood was now quite good. He fell back onto the bed, stretching out his limbs.
 五味杂陈: wǔ wèi zá chén: (lit. Five flavours mixing) meaning: …with complex feelings.