The next morning you woke up to find the white… all the white… you were lost. And then you remembered, and you suddenly missed those blessed few seconds of ignorance. You remembered yesterday. You remembered Ren. You remembered everything. The room spun around you and you were sick to your stomach instantly. Ren was gone…. Forever. Sick, you leaned over the edge of the bed and aimed for the garbage can. Suddenly, someone was there with you, pulling your hair away from your face gently.
. He'd stayed with you all night. You leaned back into the bed, tears still dreaming on your face. He rubbed your back. "I'm here." He steadied your shoulders and offered you some water. Weakly, you took it. "They're releasing you today."
"W-what?" You turned to look at him, but your eyes wouldn't focus properly.
"They said you had no internal injuries and you're pretty much healed elsewhere. And your foot, well…"
You nodded, but you didn't want to leave. Even though you didn't remember it, you knew this was the last place you'd been together. As of yet, you hadn't been anywhere Ren hadn't been. Were you to leave…you'd be entering a world in which Ren no longer existed. You wished you'd gone with him. Guilt washed over you as you thought again how it had been all your fault. The tree was aiming for you; it was supposed to have been you. He saved you, he was the hero and now… and now…
The nurse came into make sure you were checked out properly. In the bathroom, you gingerly peeled off your gown and looked at your feet. The cast was huge and cumbersome, but a least it was a walking cast and you'd still be able to get around. You stared at your reflection in the mirror, amazed at how horrible-looking you'd become in the last few days. Your skin, so pale it was almost blue, was matte and felt like wax. You sagged against the doorway, wondering where you would go now. Your old place had someone else living in it now, for it had been a given that you and Ren were now to share as a married couple. But you knew you could never bring yourself to take the space that Pledis had set up for the both of you.
But still. Most of your stuff had been moved there. You'd have to get it. You sat on the floor and pulled your phone out of your bag, opening your video gallery. You saw the thumbnail of a video, taken a scant week ago at the beach, when you'd been happy. Your thumb was over the delete button. Suddenly, you heard a voice from behind you.
"Don't," Minhyun said. "You'll regret it." Gently he took the phone away. You hadn't heard him open the door. You were still sobbing, and in your underwear, but you didn't care anymore. Nothing mattered now. Quickly, and judgement- free, Minhyun dressed you and sat you on the bed, with his arms around you; it was if your strength was gone. You were free to leave now at your leisure and yet again, you didn't want to.
"Where will I go?" you asked Minhyun.
"With me. I won't leave you."
You nodded. "But… why are you being like this?" you asked, trembling still.
"Because you are a really good friend of mine. And… Minki and I, we were like brothers. He… he made me promise that if anything ever happened to him that I would be the one to take care of you. And I'm ready to honour that."
You shivered and curled tighter into a ball, rocking. If anything ever happened…
Something had happened.
Minhyun wrapped you in his sweater and picked up your bag. "C'mon, let's go. I know you can be brave. I know you can. Do it for Minki." His eyes were large and shiny. Nodding, you stood on your feet, weak like skim milk, and allowed him to lead you down the hall. Slowly you walked, not paying attention to anything, just concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other. Suddenly you stopped, and your blood ran cold. You clutched Minhyun and stared at the back in front of the information desk of your ward. That blonde hair, wiry figure, even the stance… You were hallucinating. You started to breath hard. Would this nightmare end?! You made a choked sound in your throat and the figure turned around. It had the face of Ren.
Then you stopped breathing. You froze and turned to Minhyun; he had the same shocked expression on his face, so it wasn't just you. You looked back, and the figure, attached to different wires and tubes, was shuffling towards you quickly. You still couldn't move or speak as he came closer and closer. He was smiling so wide. "Sandy!" You were dizzy again. It was the nickname he'd had fro you ever since the song had come out. It was really him.
"H-how did you-" you were choking in your own words. You were caught in a sudden crushing embrace, pulled free from Minhyun.
"I've been so worried about you!" It had Min Ki's voice too. "Are you okay? I've missed you! I knew you were in the same hospital, but they wouldn't let me see you while I was in critical care. I'm so sorry I haven't been able to take of you yet. I'm glad you're okay," he whispered then.
You sank into the hug. Unbelievable. "You moved from critical care to here," you repeated dumbly.
"Yes, yesterday. From room 225. You know, head injuries and all." He smiled at you.
"You. were. Moved," you said one more time.
Confused, he began to catch on to the way you were feeling. "Is something wrong?"
You nodded, then shook your head. "Ren. I-I Ren, they left your name up. On the door of intensive care."
Baffled, Ren stared. "Oh?"
"The guy in there… he's gone." He peered into your eyes, searching for understanding.
"Min Ki. " Minhyun's voice broke the silence. "She- we- thought you were…dead," he said quietly. Ren was startled, like he hadn't seen Minhyun standing there.
"Dead?" you nodded, very, very still in his arms. Arms of blood and flesh. Ren's real arms. You pressed into them hungrily, feeling greedy and grateful at the same time. "Omo." He shook, and squeezed you tighter. He understood at last. "I couldn't leave you. Not yet. You got that?" tears sprung to his eyes. "You must've been through so much this past couple of days. And I wasn't there for you. "
You shook your head. "But you're here now. "
"That's right I am. I'm not going anywhere anytime soon." And with that, he kissed you on the crown of your head so tenderly, not loosening his grip on you one bit. You briefly wondered where Minhyun had gone, but you figured he'd given you guys this moment. You would have to remember to do him a favour later. But now, in this moment, you suspected you were as happy as you possibly ever would be, in the arms of that Nu'est vocalist,