Let You Love Me
❥ pairing: han jisung x female reader
❥ genre: one-shot, fluff, angst, coworkers to lovers, slowburn, hospital!au
❥ warnings: mentions of cheating, mentions of food, there's a slap, not medically accurate, let me know if I'm missing something
❥ word count: 17.8k
❥ winning drabble of my first-ever weekend event! title submitted by @hannie-squirrel00 (thank you for participating!)
❥ summary: After dealing with a terrible breakup, you were finding it hard to let Jisung into your heart.
❥ A/N: Hello, how are you today? I didn't expect this one-shot to turn out this long, but here we are. The part in italic is the excerpt I shared during the weekend event. It's slightly different from the original one, but I kept most of it the same. Please, like/reblog this if you enjoy reading it and let me know your thoughts through an ask, if you feel like it; I am always appreciative of your feedback! As always, happy reading!
Jisung walked the hospital corridors, a cup of espresso in his hand. He drank it as he walked, never wasting time. He took the elevator to the cardiology floor, watching as people left and entered it. Some were happy, others were devastated. Some had probably spent the night here, while others were ready to spend their time here. The elevator stopped on the pediatric floor, the neurology floor and finally, it reached Jisung’s floor. He chugged the rest of his coffee and as he exited, threw the paper cup in the bin, celebrating his perfect landing with a silent cheer.
“Someone’s happy today,” Seungmin stated from his desk, barely lifting his eyes from the computer screen.
“I have every right to be.” Jisung fixed his white coat, making sure his name was visible and leaned on the counter, peaking at what Seungmin was doing. The nurse sighed and looked at Jisung, fixing his glasses calmly.
“Minho’s already here. You should go and let me do my job.”
“Here?” Jisung checked the watch on his wrist. He thought he still had a couple of minutes before the briefing. “Already? I thought I was early today…”
“You should go, then. You don’t want to make him angry…” There was some irony in his voice that Jisung recognized too well. He wasn’t eager to hear Lee Minho yell at him about his lack of professionalism. That put him and everyone else in a bad mood.
“I doubt I’ll be the last one to arrive today…”
“You’re always the last one to arrive, Jisung. Always.”
“Well,” he sighed and leaned away from the desk, fixing his coat again. “I hope you’ll regret your words today.”
“That’s unlikely. Now go.” Seungmin gestured with his hand for Jisung to leave and he reluctantly did.
The elevator behind him opened and out of curiosity, Jisung stopped and turned around, seeing someone walk closer to Seungmin, smiling brightly.
“Good morning,” she greeted. She wore a coat just like Jisung, but he had never seen her here. Maybe she was from a different department. “I… hm…”
Jisung considered turning his back and walking to where he was supposed to go, but curiosity got the best of him. He leaned on one of the windowsills nearby, hands on his pockets and listened to the conversation discreetly. This was certainly better than whatever Minho had to say. At least, Jisung hoped that.
“What’s your name?” Seungmin asked in his drained voice. To Jisung, he always sounded tired.
“I’m doctor Y/L/N. I was told to be present at today’s morning briefing.”
Jisung’s eyes looked straight at her. Now that he took a better look at her, he understood where he knew her from. It wasn’t from this hospital, it was from the prestige and success of her career, the success rate she had with her patients.
“One second.” Seungmin dialled a number on the phone and fixed his glasses. “Yes, doctor Lee, a doctor named…”
“Y/L/N,” you added, smiling and he nodded, unbothered.
“A doctor named Y/L/N is here saying she was asked to be present at the morning briefing… Yes…” Seungmin glanced around the space and sighed. “No, I cannot leave my desk. There’s no one else here… I understand…”
Jisung cleared his throat and walked back to the desk, scratching the back of his neck. Seungmin finished his call and looked at Jisung, rolling his eyes.
“Weren’t you supposed to be at the morning briefing already?”
“I was,” Jisung confirmed and extended a hand to the woman next to him, smiling charmingly. “I couldn’t help but overhear your exchange. I’m Han Jisung, I’m a cardiologist.”
She extended her hand and shook it, studying Jisung’s expression. “Y/N Y/L/N. Cardiologist.”
“Nice to meet you,” Jisung kept a smile on his lips, but never saw one in hers. When she let go of his hand, he pointed to the corridor behind him. “I was on my way to the morning briefing. I could take you there.”
“I’d appreciate that.” She turned to look at Seungmin who watched the scene with arms crossed and glanced at the plaque on his chest. “Thank you for your help, Nurse Kim Seungmin.”
Seungmin quickly fixed his posture on his chair and smiled at her. This was the first time Jisung saw a reaction on him that wasn’t boredom.
“You’re welcome, doctor…?” He was surprised and somewhat confused.
“Here to help you in all of your medical needs, doctor Y/L/N.” Seungmin stood up from his chair and extended her a hand, shaking it excitedly.
Instead of answering, she turned to look at Jisung and pointed to the corridor behind him. “Is it that way?”
“Yes, it…” She fixed the bag on her shoulder and started to walk, not waiting for Jisung to join her. He raised an eyebrow, confused.
“I like her,” Seungmin sat back down, satisfied with the interaction. “She’s nice.”
“Is she, though?” Jisung asked, still appalled she hadn’t waited for him. “She’ll get lost, you know? She should’ve waited for me.”
“Well, I’m sure a woman like her can find her way around the hospital. If she gets lost, she can always rely on me.”
Jisung rolled his eyes and walked away from Seungmin, still looking at him. “Guess I’m not the last one to arrive today.”
“She’ll get there faster than you. I’m betting on her,” he was going back to his unbothered state, eyes fixed on the computer screen in front of him.
“You’ll pay tomorrow’s drinks at the bar if I win,” Jisung challenged, a grin on his face.
“Go do your job. Save her from an angry Lee Minho. We’ll discuss that later.”
Jisung assented and entered the corridor at a fast pace, seeing the doctor from earlier in the distance, glancing from side to side, looking for the right room to enter.
— 💙 —
This hospital was different from the one you used to work at, and you were sure it would take you some time to get used to it. The corridors here were slimmer, shorter in length and each room seemed smaller as well. However, this hospital was filled with natural lighting. There were multiple windows, some to the city outside, others to the patio inside the hospital where a couple of patients walked accompanied by nurses.
Still, this hospital didn’t have something your old place had: your ex-fiancé. Here, you could freely walk the corridors and enter the different rooms and you wouldn’t run into him. Here, you could go to the cafeteria and have a meal in peace and quiet, without having to see him in the distance, surrounded by his coworkers, laughing at something you once had laughed at with him.
You hoped this would mark a new beginning for you, one where you had a clean slate to write your story once again, where you wouldn’t have to answer awkward questions that only brought you pain.
After walking for a while, you finally found the room where the morning briefing would take place. The head of the department, Lee Minho, was already speaking to a small group of doctors. You entered the room under his stern gaze, and you bowed respectfully to him, before seating down. A few moments later, Jisung entered as well, and Lee Minho met him with the same gaze as he did to you.
“Late again, Han Jisung? How many times do I need to remind you that punctuality is important? Do you have no respect for your patients?”
“First of all,” Jisung smiled brightly at Lee Minho, “good morning to all of you, yes Minho, that includes you. Second of all, I was here right on time, this time. But… I decided to help doctor Y/L/N since she was quite lost. Our hospital can be confusing to some…”
You chuckled. You hadn’t been lost. You found the room on your own. And you were both late.
At the sound of your name, all faces in the room turned to look at you. Some were shocked, others surprised, but most were confused. You too were confused as to what kind of department was this and what kind of Doctor Han Jisung was. You couldn’t take him seriously for some reason.
“Ah yes,” Lee Minho sighed and turned on the lights of the room, the projection fading from view. “We have a new doctor in our department. Doctor Y/L/N. She is a very talented cardiologist and she’ll be working with us from now on.”
You bowed politely at everyone, avoiding thinking about what kind of questions they had. You were almost certain that there were a lot, but you just hoped that the people at this hospital wouldn’t know about your personal life.
“I look forward to work with you all,” you said after a while, trying to force out a smile. Now you knew what annoyed you in Jisung, he smiled too easily. You wished you had that, so you could smile through the constant pain you had been under recently.
“We look forward to working with you as well,” Lee Minho stated and clapped once, glancing at the small crowd in front of him. “I am sure someone will take you on a tour around the hospital. Maybe Jisung?”
“Sure,” he smiled and glanced at you. You avoided his gaze and crossed your arms, taking in a deep breath.
“Great then,” Lee Minho turned off the lights again and walked to the projection on the wall. “We’ll continue our meeting and afterwards, you can check the board to know your service for the week.”
The meeting lasted for a couple of minutes. You grabbed your notebook and took notes that you found relevant, from the information Lee Minho was sharing with you. Jisung did the same by your side, taking notes and doodling as well, occasionally asking questions that either annoyed the head of the department or that took him by surprise.
“There’s a chance they’ll cut our budget again,” Lee Minho announced, and everyone gave a collected disappointed sigh.
“For what?” Jisung asked irritated, not smiling for the first time. “What about the budget of the administration? They haven’t cut that one in years! We’re the ones that are always suffering.”
“That is a question that is out of my control, Jisung,” Lee Minho said solemnly. “Out of our control.”
You sighed and lifted your arm, Lee Minho pointing at you to give you a chance to speak. “I agree with what doctor Han is saying.”
“Jisung,” he whispered to you. “You can call me Jisung. No need to call me doctor Han.”
You ignored him and continued. “Even if the budget is out of our control, we should be able to express our concerns to the administration. And maybe work on a collective budget with other departments.”
There was a collective laugh in the room as if saying that you were ridiculous for even suggesting that. People shook their heads, but you didn’t let it get to you.
“At the hospital I used to work at-“
“You’re working here now, doctor Y/L/N.” Lee Minho’s voice was harsh, and his gaze even more grave. “Whatever you did there doesn’t matter now. Jisung will work on filling you in on how things work around here.”
For the rest of the meeting, you barely paid any attention. You had to control your urge to raise your arm and share your thoughts and perspective, since most of them either started with at the hospital I worked at, or at my old job, and you didn’t want to see people laughing at your face once again.
Once was enough for you to learn the lesson. Once was enough for you to not do it again.
— 💙 —
When the meeting ended, you stayed behind. You told Jisung you’d like to have a word with Lee Minho before you went on your tour, so he stayed outside of the room, waiting for you. As always, curiosity took the best of him, and he overheard your conversation with the head of the department.
You were always polite, but too opinionated for Minho’s taste. He dismissed you as soon as you mentioned your old place.
“You are here now, doctor Y/L/N.” Minho had little patience in his voice. “You should adapt to our rules. I understand you want what’s best for the patients, but there is little I can do.”
“He just doesn’t want to move his ass,” Jisung mumbled under his breath, greeting a passing nurse with a smile.
The only reason why Minho was still the head of the department was not that he was the best for the job, it was because he was the easiest to control and keep in line with the administration.
When you left the room, Jisung could tell you were livid. You took a deep breath and looked at him, studying his expression.
“Just know that I agree with you,” he said when your eyes met. “Minho is…”
“Incompetent.” You did not hold back, Jisung thought, surprised. “Do you not collaborate between departments here?”
“Only when it’s strictly necessary.” Jisung leaned away from the wall and smiled at you. “Let’s go. I’ll show you around the hospital.”
“Let’s hope I don’t get lost again,” you said sarcastically, walking next to Jisung.
“I’ll make sure you won’t. I am just warning you right now that you are not on Minho’s good side.”
“I didn’t come here to be on anyone’s good side,” there was a sad look in your eyes as you said it, Jisung noticed. Whatever had caused your transfer to this hospital, it was something that wasn’t good, or at least didn’t bring you any happiness.
Still, Jisung didn’t dare to ask you for your reasonings. He barely knew you except that you excelled at your job and held strongly to your values, and that he wished to get to know you.
The two of you walked to the front desk again where Seungmin was standing over a couple of documents. He lifted his eyes to greet you and Jisung, fixing his glasses as he smiled.
“How did it go?” He asked, a teasing smile on his lips. “Who pays for the drinks?”
“I didn’t get there first,” Jisung admitted, slightly defeated. “I guess that means I’ll pay.”
“Will doctor Y/L/N join us?” Seungmin asked, gesturing with a pen at you.
You stood with your arms crossed, looking at the panel with the different floors and what department was on which. Jisung glanced at you, looking at your focused expression, as you mumbled the words under your breath. He shrugged and turned back at Seungmin.
“I’m not sure,” he shrugged. “Why don’t you ask her?”
“You should be the one asking. You’re her coworker.”
“So are you!” Jisung remarked. “Besides, you were the one that had the idea! It would only be fair if you asked her.”
Seungmin sighed and looked at Jisung, crossing his arms. He raised an eyebrow and chuckled. “You’re afraid she might say no to you, aren’t you?”
“Can you please stop talking as if I’m not here?” You slowly turned around to give them both an annoyed look. Jisung and Seungmin exchanged a guilty expression and the nurse promptly got back to his work as if this wasn’t his concern.
“I apologize,” Seungmin whispered when you joined them at the desk. “Jisung and I, we were-“
“We were wondering if you’d like to join us for a drink, at the end of our shift. We know a nice bar nearby, the owner gives us a discount. It would be nice for us to get to know each other.”
“We can do that in a professional setting,” you argued and smiled awkwardly at them.
Jisung and Seungmin exchanged a quick look and the nurse shrugged leaving his desk to go do some other task. You followed him until you lost sight of him and sighed, turning to look at Jisung again.
“I know, and I am sure we would learn a lot by working together.” He gestured between you and him, smiling politely. “But there are things we only learn in… other settings.”
“Such as…?” You crossed your arms and studied his expression. He was conflicted on what to say next, so he just chuckled and looked away from you, scratching the back of his head.
“You see, we don’t mingle a lot in the hospital with the other departments. However, at the bar… everyone knows everyone. There you’re not a cardiologist and I am not a cardiologist. There you are Y/N and I am Jisung.”
He said the words slowly as if he was explaining them to a child. He couldn’t get a read from your expression, he wasn’t sure if you were playing hard to get, or if this was how you truly wanted things to be.
“Doctor Han,” you said walking closer to him and patting his shoulder. “What you are trying to achieve, you are doing it through… manipulation tactics. It would be best for you if you just stated the obvious. It’s simpler, you see? Direct, concise, obvious.”
“What is the direct, concise, obvious?” He crossed his arms, not looking away from you.
“Well,” your hand fell from his shoulder, and Jisung noticed a shy playful smile on your lips. “You would like me to join you at said bar to get to know me in a not professional setting.”
“Well, doctor Y/L/N,” he licked his lips and chuckled, a playful smile on his lips. “You could also be direct, concise and obvious in your answer. It saves us time and,” he smiled, gesturing between the two of you, “whatever we’ve got going on here.”
“Of course,” you cleared your throat and kept your gaze on him. “I don’t go out with coworkers.”
That was not what Jisung expected to hear from you. Something about your expression told him you were conflicted as if what you were saying didn’t fully match what you were feeling. Still, he barely knew you so he couldn’t be certain of his observation. He gulped, trying to keep his true emotions at bay. Everyone tended to agree to go to the bar whenever Jisung asked them to. He was charming, so why weren’t you saying yes?
“You’re a tough one to crack, doctor Y/L/N. But I’ll get to your heart, eventually.”
You blinked slowly and Jisung could see you tense up slightly, taking a small step back, trying to keep your composure. Whatever words Jisung had said to you, they hadn’t been appropriate, even if they were a joke. This wasn’t going very well for him.
“That’s a cardiology joke, by the way,” he clarified at your frightened look. You slowly recovered your composure, shoving your hands in your pocket. “You know, hearts… get to your heart…”
“Explaining a joke makes it less fun,” Seungmin returned and fixed his glasses, extending a chart to Jisung. “You should get to this patient, those are the results of the tests you ordered.”
“I’ll see them during our rounds.” Jisung glanced over some of the information on the document and sighed, shaking his head. “His cholesterol is still high… I wonder what excuse he’ll find this week.”
“I’d say he just likes to see you, but the man already despises the fact that you’re his doctor.”
“He still hasn’t asked for a second opinion.” He returned the document to Seungmin who stored it in a pile with several others and turned to you, guiding you to the elevators. “I’ll show you around the hospital.”
“I could find my way around,” you reassured him. “I… Maybe it’s important you see your patient first.”
Jisung looked at you and blinked slowly, the expression on his face was sombre. “One thing you should know about me, doctor Y/L/N, is that I do not like people telling me what to do. Especially when it comes to my patients. Keep that in mind, please.”
“It won’t happen again, doctor Han.” You cleared your throat, reassuring him. “Should we… go, then?”
“Yes.” The elevator opened and Jisung gestured you to enter, and he followed suit. “And please, call me Jisung. I call all my coworkers by their first name.”
“I’ll… try.” Once again, you tried to smile at him, but you couldn’t. He cleared his throat and pressed the ground floor button, walking to the back of the elevator, you following him.
“We’ll start on the ground floor and go up from there.”
“Sounds good to me,” you answered and leaned on the back of the elevator, arms crossed as you looked at your feet.
— 💙 —
The cafeteria was loud and Jisung was already upset he hadn’t prepared his lunch today. He sat on a table next to one of the windows, glancing at the lush and vibrant tops of trees seen a few floors below on the hospital’s patio. It was a wonderful day so he could occasionally see the patients walking below in their hospital gowns, some with a slower pace than others, but all accompanied by one or two nurses.
After showing you the hospital and doing the rounds on his patients at the cardiology floor, he had found his way here to have a light meal before returning to his work in the afternoon. Here, he tried to focus on the peace and quiet the outside brought to him, instead of the chaos and loudness of what surrounded him.
His peace was short-lived when Bang Chan joined him, followed by Seo Changbin, both talking excitedly about whatever was gossip this week. Chan had his scrubs on, one with giraffes, lions, and other animals printed on it, something that the kids adored. Changbin wasn’t wearing his, but that wasn’t surprising, he rarely wore it outside of the pediatric floor.
The two continued their conversation, not including Jisung in it. He focused on his meal, a light salad with some meat, vegetables, and nuts. He had brought a yoghurt with him and an apple as well.
“How is she like?” Changbin suddenly turned to look at Jisung, expectantly.
“Who are we talking about?” Chan asked, glancing between Jisung and Changbin. “Is he seeing someone now?”
“Nah. I’m talking about the new doctor in his department. She transferred from the hospital in the bay area.”
“Ah, Y/N?” Chan said, getting back to his food. “She’s nice.”
“You know her?” Jisung asked curiously. Chan nodded. “How?”
“We did our residency together. I transferred here afterwards, but she stayed there, something to do with…” he pondered and shook his head. “I don’t remember exactly. She was nice though, from what I remember.”
“I heard she’s already giving Lee Minho a headache,” Changbin stated, taking a sip from his orange juice. “Apparently she’s feisty.”
“Oh, she’s fighting the wrong cat,” Chan laughed. “Minho is someone you do not want to mess with.”
Jisung’s last strand of peace disappeared as he dropped the fork to his plate, crossing his arms. The noise in the cafeteria was too loud so Changbin and Chan didn’t listen and continued to laugh with each other. Jisung prepared to call them to reason, but the voice he heard was not his.
You placed your tray next to Jisung and sat down, looking at them both with a serious expression. “Why isn’t Lee Minho someone to mess with?”
This, Jisung wanted to see. He leaned back on his chair, glancing slightly at you, a smile on his lips. He truly hoped you could put those two on the line.
“For starters,” Chan cleaned his mouth with a napkin. “He’s the head of the department.”
“I am aware of that, Chan.” You sighed and leaned forward. “But you’re not one to abide by authority rules, from what I remember.”
“Nice to see you again, Y/N.” Chan tried to keep calm, but his eyes were slightly furious. He turned to the other people at the table. “And for the record, I always respected the rules. Always.”
You nodded and narrowed your eyes on him and leaned back, relaxing. Changbin cleared his throat and smiled at you.
“Minho, he… takes his job very seriously.”
“I also take my job very seriously,” you counter-argued, getting ready to eat your meal. “What else?”
“He… has a lot of power… when it comes to… the department…?” Changbin wasn’t quite confident in his claims.
“Makes sense.” You added the dressing to your salad. “He’s the head of the department. Anything else? So far you haven’t convinced me as to why he is… the wrong cat to fight.”
Chan and Changbin lowered their eyes and returned to their meals. Jisung did the same, a somewhat proud smile on his lips. He was going to have fun with you around, you did not leave any stone unturned.
The rest of the meal happened in silence, with Chan and Changbin leaving as soon as they could, saying their goodbyes and setting up their meeting at the bar later that evening. You ate in silence, frowning at the food occasionally, shaking your head when you tasted something you didn’t enjoy.
“You found the cafeteria,” Jisung stated, enjoying his apple. “How is the food?”
“Edible.” You wiped your mouth with a napkin and shrugged. “I will probably bring lunch tomorrow, though. This,” you gestured to the centre of the cafeteria, “is too loud. Even for me.”
“Is it too different from when you were at the bay hospital?”
You glanced around the space and Jisung kept his gaze on you as you did it. There was curiosity, worry, some sort of nostalgia in your eyes. And then, there was only sadness. You sighed and turned to look at him.
“Yes. But I’ll get used to it, eventually.”
You said that last part more to yourself than to him. Jisung nodded and returned to his apple, getting distracted by the view outside. Before heading home, he’d pay the garden a small visit.
“I hope I wasn’t too much of a bother with your friends. I just don’t like when people talk behind my back, it… makes me angry.”
“I could tell,” Jisung shrugged, trying to avoid the way you were looking at him. It was… too intense. “But they deserved it. Thank you for keeping them quiet.”
You rolled your eyes and for the first time since this morning, Jisung saw a natural smile on your face. And it was endearing, Jisung should add.
“I know you said you don’t hang out with coworkers,” you turned to look at him and he cleared his throat. “But you’re right about what you said. I… I’d like to get to know you better.”
“Why?” That was a genuine question, something that even Jisung was startled at. “What is so worthy about me that you want to get to know me better after knowing me for only a few hours?”
“What is so unworthy about me that you don’t want to get to know me better?” He answered back. Jisung also knew how to play your game if he had to. “Look, I’m not asking you on a date.” Although, he would. Maybe, he should. “Just come to the bar, stay for a while and leave when you feel like it. I think you’d like it.”
You sighed and leaned back on your chair, thinking about Jisung’s words. The truth was, he wanted to see you there. He wanted to see what it was like to know you when you weren’t at work. Would you smile more? Would you be as direct and inflexible? Or was there something else that Jisung hadn’t glimpsed yet? You were right, he only knew you for a couple of hours, but to him, that was enough to want to know you more.
After thinking for a while, you stood up from your chair and grabbed your tray, looking at him. Whatever was on your mind, he didn’t know, but it made you sad, anxious.
“I’ll… consider it. But… don’t get your hopes up. I might not show up.”
Jisung nodded satisfied with your answer as it was enough for him right now. Even if you didn’t show up tonight, at least you’d consider it. But if you did decide to show up, then that would be even better.
He truly wanted to get to know you. Maybe what he had said earlier about getting to your heart wasn’t such a joke after all. Maybe there was some kind of truth to it, even if he didn’t understand what it was right now.
— 💙 —
After your shift at the hospital, you went to the locker room to get your belongings and go home. You knew Jisung had asked you to join him this evening at the bar, but you weren’t in the mood to go. Everything still reminded you too much of what you had left behind, of your ex, and you didn’t want to deal with it. It was better this way.
Maybe you were avoiding having to deal with it. You were definitely avoiding it. It was ridiculous, all of it. You had gone to the extremes to avoid seeing him, being with him, and yet, everything still reminded you of him. Even this locker room was too familiar. You had to get out of here and go home.
Some other time, you’d bring decorations for your locker, just to make it more yours and more pleasant to look at. It was too bland and looking at the ones around, yours was the most boring one. You found yourself thinking which one would be Jisung’s and afterwards, your thoughts went back to his invitation. You shook your head and closed the locker. You were going home, that was it.
As you put on your jacket, the door to the locker room opened and Jisung entered, always carrying a bright smile on his features. He looked tired, though, his eyes didn’t carry the same enthusiasm as this morning.
“Good evening,” he greeted you and went to a locker decorated with stickers from bands, bad heart puns, and quotes from famous books. “Already leaving?”
“Yes,” you buttoned your jacket and took a deep breath. “I considered your offer, but I won’t go.”
Jisung sighed and took off his white coat and hung it on his locker. He got his jacket from the inside and closed it in a swift movement, checking his pockets to make sure he had everything. When he was done, he looked at you and shrugged.
“It’s fine, no need to look so grim. I’ll get going. Good evening.”
You watched as he passed by you, hands on his pockets, his steps somewhat slow and heavy. He stepped out of the locker room and a few moments later, you did the same and walked slowly behind him on your way to the elevator. The two of you stopped side by side, as you waited for it, in a silence that could only be described as awkward. Jisung would glance at you, and you pretended you didn’t see it, but after a few moments, it became too much.
“Is there anything you’d like to say, doctor Han?”
He opened his mouth to speak, stopped himself, and then closed it again. He shook his head and turned to look at you, but no words came out of his mouth.
The elevators doors opened, and people entered but you and Jisung remained behind, looking at each other as if your eyes could say more than whatever words came to mind.
“Jisung,” Seungmin called from the elevator. “Are you coming?”
He gulped while looking at you and nodded, turning his head to the elevator. He smiled and started to walk. “Let’s go.”
Jisung entered the elevator and you stayed behind, watching as everyone looked expectantly at you.
“I’ll… wait for the next one,” you tried to smile but couldn’t. “Enjoy your evening.”
Seungmin nodded, waving at you and you reciprocated the gesture, slowly and deprived of energy. You watched as the doors closed slowly, Jisung’s gaze always on you. At the last moment, you looked at him as well, watching as he disappeared behind the doors.
You took a deep breath and decided to take the stairs instead of waiting for the next elevator. You climbed them down slowly and left to the hospital’s patio instead of going home right away.
The wind blew in your face as you walked through the paved road, the floor lights casting shadows in the trees, the leaves blowing softly at the passage of the breeze. You moved the hair away from your face and sat on one of the benches, looking at the nature around you.
Out of instinct, you looked at your hand, where up until a couple of weeks ago, a ring had greeted your finger. It looked bare, naked, incomplete. Something was missing there and no matter how hard you tried to pretend that you were ok, you weren’t. There was this void in your chest, this emptiness that you longed to fill, and yet, you weren’t sure if you’d ever be able to do it again. The pain, the sorrow, all of that was still too recent, too raw for you to make some sense out of it, for you to completely move on. Slowly, you’d take the steps towards it. Slowly, you’d come to terms with these feelings.
You took the phone out of your bag and searched on your contacts list for his number. Where once was written love, now you could read his name. You took a deep breath and called him, waiting for him to pick up on the other side.
“Y/N?” You heard his voice on the other side, and your heart jumped out of your chest. “Why are you calling me?”
Because I miss you. Because this was a mistake. Because I forgive you. Because I can’t move on.
All these thoughts were jumping in your mind, asking you to let them out, to make some sense of them. But you knew that would be foolish. You didn’t mean what you were thinking about. You were simply scared by the fact you felt lonely.
“I… will drop by Monday to grab the rest of my stuff,” you announced. “Could you… not be home? I’ll leave the key on the entrance plate before I leave.”
He took a deep breath. You knew he found all of this childish, all of this too extreme. That you should talk this out, work things together, find a solution. He’d say what he always did, that you hadn’t given your five-year relationship a chance, that you quit when the first problem arose. That you jumped ship the first chance you had.
“Are you sure about that?” He remained calm. “We could talk, you know? It was a mistake, Y/N.”
“What was a mistake, Jaehyun?!” You asked, your voice failing you, painful memories in your mind. “The fact that we almost got married, or the fact that I found out you were cheating on me? What was it?”
“You’re being unfair,” he kept his calmness. Once you had loved that about him, but right now you just wanted to scream in frustration. “I’m not the only one to blame, you know? You’re to blame too.”
“Of course, I am,” you rolled your eyes, tapping with your foot on the ground. “I was distant, I was too focused on my work, I wasn’t giving you too much attention. So instead of talking it out with me, you went to sleep with someone else. Multiple times, I should add. Because it was my fault. I am the one to blame for your mistake!”
You hung up the call and wiped the tears from your eyes, anger and disappointment washing over you. This call had been a mistake. Coming here this evening had been a mistake. Jaehyun called again but you ignored his calls, again and again, letting the phone ring, letting it drown your thoughts as you tried to calm yourself down.
After a while, your breathing was normal again, and your heartbeat had stabilized as well. You took a deep breath and glanced at your watch, quickly standing up when you realized how late it was. As you walked back, you saw a familiar face seating at one of the benches near the entrance door. He looked up at you, half-surprised, half-shocked to see you here.
“I decided to check out the patio,” you gestured to the path behind you. “You?”
Jisung studied your expression, the smile he usually carried on his face gone, replaced by concern. “I came to think… for a bit before I go.”
You nodded and avoided his gaze but couldn’t help but join him on his bench. “Tough day?”
He chuckled and sighed. “Tell me about it.”
Jisung and you stood in silence, an ambulance siren filled the air for a moment, only to fade away and be replaced by the wind on the leaves.
“Are you ok?” His question took you by surprise.
“I’m… not.” You admitted. There was no need to pretend, no need to put on a shell and act as if this pain in your heart didn’t exist. Still, you reassured him, as a way to reassure yourself. “But I’ll be. Eventually.”
— 💙 —
As the weeks went by, Jisung got to know you better. He took every break he had to visit you at your office, every lunch to join you in the common doctor’s room, every end of shift to ride with you on the elevator. He enjoyed listening to your voice, whining to you about Lee Minho, just for you to agree with him, expressing his exact thoughts in that honest and endearing manner you had. But what Jisung enjoyed the most was seeing you smiling, with your cheeks slightly flushed in a genuine manner. Week by week, you grew closer to each other, not only as coworkers but as friends too.
“Are we going to the bar again tonight?” Jisung asked you, hanging his coat on his locker.
“Sure,” you turned to look at him and smiled. “Since I’m in good spirits today, I will pay for your drink.”
“How kind of you doctor Y/L/N. I am flattered by your generosity.”
You rolled your eyes and laughed. It had taken him a couple of attempts to convince you to join him at the bar, but you eventually accepted his request. And he was so glad you did.
“Too many compliments and I’ll reconsider my offer…” You said as a joke, closing your locker. You had decorated it with small magnets, that held lists and reminders and every day, there was also a new little sticky note Jisung had left in your locker this morning before heading to perform one of his surgeries. He had been doing this for the past couple of days and he always waited expectantly to see what your reaction was at this time of the day.
“What’s with all these sticky notes?” You removed it from the locker and read it out loud. “If you dream it, you can achieve it…” You lowered your arm and looked at him, a shy smile on your face. “This is nice, Jisung. Thank you.”
You opened your locker again and placed the sticky note on the inside, next to all the others. Your fingers traced them, your smile increasing slightly. He walked closer to you, glancing at the inside of your locker, his chest filled with joy. It was a small gesture, but it meant the world to him. And as he saw them all together, he wondered if they meant the world to you too.
“I thought you’d enjoy them. They are inspirational quotes, to help you feel better.”
“Ah,” you nodded and closed your locker, turning to look at him. “They are pretty cheesy, you know?”
“That’s the point.” He returned to his locker and closed it, joining you right after. “Would you like them if they were facts? No.”
“At least, I’d learn something.” You shrugged and the two of you exited the room, walking to the elevator together.
“Well, you learn all the cheesy quotes google can give me.”
You rolled your eyes. “Next week, share random but fun facts with me.”
“I will continue with my cheesy quotes. I might try puns next, just to shake things up a bit.”
This made you laugh, and he couldn’t help but smile at you. It was so wonderful to see you smile and laugh genuinely.
“Doctor Y/L/N,” Seungmin called from behind the counter, fixing his glasses. You greeted him with a smile. “There’s… someone here to see you.”
“Who?” You asked, checking your watch. “Is it a patient?”
“Hm… no. He introduced himself as your… ex… fiancé.”
Jisung lips parted in slight shock as he looked at you. The smile that once had greeted your face was gone and any signs of happiness had been drowned in sorrow and worry.
“I… tell him I’m busy. I don’t want to see him.”
“Yes, about that,” Seungmin gestured to a figure slowly standing up from one of the chairs in the waiting room next to his desk. “He’s… here.”
Your eyes met his in what Jisung could only describe as pain. You stood by his side, your fists closed as you looked at the man that slowly walked towards you, an apologetic expression on his face. You chuckled.
“Just leave, Jaehyun.” You didn’t give him a chance to speak. “Just go. Pretend I don’t exist. Leave.”
“I wanted to talk, Y/N.”
Jisung didn’t know exactly what he was witnessing, but he felt like he shouldn’t be here. However, he couldn’t leave. Something glued him to the ground right next to you.
His eyes jumped from you to the man in front of you. When the realization of who he was hit Jisung, his eyes widened in shock. You had been engaged… to him. Part of that recognition messed with Jisung in ways he didn’t think possible. His heart crushed slightly in his chest, the air left his lungs.
“I don’t want to talk. And how dare you come to my workplace?” You took one step towards him. “I don’t want to see you. I don’t want to be in the same room as you. I don’t want to…” you took a deep breath and looked him in the eyes. “Stop trying to make us happen again.”
“Y/N…” he tried to grab your hands, but you rejected his gesture. “Please… don’t do this.”
You were visibly upset, Jisung could tell. Such a wonderful evening ruined by this… jerk. Jisung had no other words to describe him, he resented him on your behalf, even if he didn’t know the reasons.
“I think doctor Y/L/N made it very clear where she stands,” Jisung spoke and for the first time, Jaehyun acknowledged him. “I would kindly ask you to leave. Please. This is a hospital, after all.”
Jaehyun gulped and looked at Jisung from head to toes, a distaste in his eyes as he did so. He gestured to him and looked back at you, shaking his head.
“Who is he to you?” He asked, spitting the words out like they were poisonous. “Your new partner? Are you sleeping with him to get back at me? You could’ve chosen better, you know? He’s-”
“Careful what you’re about to say,” Jisung warned, not liking the tone of his voice. He gestured to the elevators, never looking away from Jaehyun. “Please, leave. Otherwise, I’ll call security.”
“I just want to talk to my fiancée!” He raised his voice slightly, and you jumped beside Jisung. “Just stay out of it. This is between us.”
“I know what she said, I am right here. But she’s out of her mind. She’s not thinking straight right now. She’s-“
Jisung didn’t expect to see your hand meet Jaehyun’s cheek in a loud slap, but it shocked everyone around you. You looked at him, your cheeks red from the anger you were feeling, eyes filled with rage as you pointed a finger at him.
“Leave before I call security myself.”
“Y/N…” He was still in shock, both hands covering his red cheek, where your fingers were engraved on it. “You’re not like this…”
You shook your head and looked at Seungmin, trying to keep your composure. “Please, call security. I’ll wait for him to be gone somewhere else.”
“Of course,” Seungmin fixed his glasses and dialled a number, quickly getting on a call.
“If I ever set my eyes on you ever again,” you warned Jaehyun. “I’m not sure a slap is all you’ll get from me.”
You opened your purse and scavenged for something on the inside of it. When you did so, you pulled it out of your purse and grabbed one of Jaehyun’s hands placing it on his palm.
“Why are you giving me this?” He looked at the engagement ring on his hand. “This… Y/N-”
“Stop calling my name. Stop looking for me. Stop it. It’s over, Jaehyun. Over. And it’s not coming back, no matter how hard you try.”
Your voice was failing you, but you looked at him in the eyes one last time, before turning your back on him and walking back to the locker room, closing the door behind you slightly louder than what you probably intended.
“This is your fault,” Jaehyun said in between his teeth, his stern gaze on Jisung.
“It’s never your fault, is it?”
Jaehyun was probably the kind of person that made mistakes and expected everyone else to take the blame for them, to take his word as gospel. He was despicable. What did you see in him that made you want to marry him? Jisung saw nothing of you in him.
“You don’t know her as I do,” Jaehyun continued, always trying to be right, to stay on top of the argument. He truly loved to have the last word. “She’ll get bored of you eventually. Just wait and see.”
“We’re not dating,” Jisung explicitly said, hoping that this would end the argument. “And no, we’re not sleeping together either. But you won’t believe me, will you?”
“You could be lying to protect her.” There it was. Jisung rolled his eyes, letting out a disappointed sigh.
“Protecting her from what?” Seungmin asked, looking at him with disgust, always having that unbothered tone in his voice. “Probably from you, no?”
“Seungmin…” Jisung looked at him, shaking his head. “Don’t. Let’s wait for security.”
The two friends kept quiet, not taking their eyes from Jaehyun as he paced around, not leaving. He tried to make them both furious, maybe to have one of them punch him, or slap him, so he could press charges and feel victorious about it. But Seungmin and Jisung didn’t give in. Eventually, security got to their floor and escorted him out. He tried to complain, saying he’d go on his own, but it was no use.
When the elevator doors closed, both Seungmin and Jisung took a deep breath, relaxing from the tension of the situation from earlier.
“I’ll go check on her,” Jisung announced, slowly turning away to go to the locker room.
“What even was this?” Seungmin shook his head. “If I knew about it, I would’ve told him she wasn’t here.”
“Now you do,” Jisung patted his friend on the shoulder, offering a reassuring smile. “And please, avoid talking about this with other people. I’m sure Lee Minho will have a few words to tell her, let’s see if she won’t get suspended.”
“For slapping someone who treated her like that? Would he do that?”
“He would,” Jisung scratched the back of his neck. “She’s the only one that doesn’t say yes to everything he asks of us. He’ll find any excuse to get back at her. He’s… eager to do it, sadly.”
Seungmin nodded and slowly, Jisung made his way to the locker room, knocking before entering. When he got no answer, he opened it and peeked inside, finding you seating on one of the benches, your back turned to the door.
“He’s gone,” Jisung announced and closed the door behind him. He gulped, unsure of what to say. Should he comfort you, sit next to you, leave you alone? “Security just escorted him out.”
“Thank you,” your voice was weak, a whisper that Jisung almost missed.
He nodded and leaned on one of the lockers, keeping his distance from you. It pained him to see you like this, suffering for someone who didn’t seem aware of the discomfort they had caused you. You didn’t deserve it.
I’m glad you’re not marrying him, he wanted to say to you, but he knew how insensitive that was. However, that’s where his true feelings stood and he wasn’t going to deny them to himself.
He liked you. Maybe that was the reason why he wrote you sticky notes at the beginning of his shift, maybe that was why he enjoyed spending time with you, maybe that was why he enjoyed seeing you smile and laugh with him.
And what he had witnessed today hit him like a truck. All these feelings of worry, uncertainty, discomfort, of coming to terms with the fact that maybe you wouldn’t be his to love, it was something he didn’t expect to come to terms with tonight, maybe ever.
“Could you… stay?” You slowly turned around and looked at him, slightly calmer than before. “I don’t want to be alone right now.”
Jisung nodded and slowly made his way to a bench next to you, seating down. He smiled at you, more out of kindness than anything else.
“I’ll stay,” he said, trying to keep the turmoil inside of him calm. “I’ll stay with you.”
You slowly nodded and moved closer to him, leaning your head on his shoulder. He softly pressed a kiss on top of your head, wrapping an arm around your shoulders, feeling the warmth of your body next to him.
He looked at you kindly, watching as you slowly relaxed in his presence. Right now, Jisung only had one thought in his mind, one that he couldn’t say out loud, but one that he couldn’t deny to himself either.
Let me love you.
— 💙 —
After what happened with Jaehyun, coming to the hospital felt more and more like a chore and less like something you enjoyed. You tried your best to avoid people’s stares, but it was impossible. People talked, whispered, wondered whatever had happened that evening. You wanted to forget that moment, you wanted to forget him. But it was hard, you had made little to no progress on it.
You glanced at the board in front of you, checking if you were on call this week and saw your name written in red in a small square next to two other names. You would be on call during a twelve-hour shift on Thursday. You would stay at the hospital for longer than that, you already knew it.
“Twelve hours?” Jisung stood next to you, shaking his head. “That’s a little too excessive.”
“It’s my job, Jisung.” You turned and smiled at him. “But I guess we’ll have to schedule dinner for some other day.”
“I’ll wait,” he fixed his coat and looked at the board, pointing at one of the squares. “I’ll be doing my rounds, I can perfectly wait for you after I’m done.”
“It might take longer than that,” you warned him. “Complications arise and considering the time I’ll be on call, I’ll be busy. You should head home, get some rest.”
“I can get some rest while I wait for you. I want us to have dinner together, we haven’t shared a meal this week yet.”
You nodded. It was true, you and Jisung had barely seen each other this week and part of you missed that. He continued to leave sticky notes on your locker, and they were growing more elaborate each day. Some days they had facts, others puns, and there were also the cheesy quotes that made you roll your eyes. When Jisung had more time, he drew something on them, usually related to whatever was written on it.
Still, that was the only interaction you had with him. You missed seeing him, seating down and chatting properly with him, sharing a meal.
“I’ll go find you, then.” You patted his shoulder and smiled at him. “But if I take too long, go home and have dinner. We’ll go out some other time.”
“How about tomorrow?” He smiled at your confused expression and explained. “It’s your free day, and so is mine. We could go out, the two of us.”
Like on a date?, part of you wanted to ask but didn’t dare. Jisung and you were good friends, but that was it. However, as you looked at him, you wondered if there was something more between the two of you.
“Sure,” you tried not to sound too excited about it. “We’ll discuss details later?”
“Sounds good to me.” His smile widened and he leaned closer to you. “So that means we’ll have dinner together and we’ll go out in the same week?”
You rolled your eyes and leaned closer to him, his eyes widening. “Don’t stretch your luck, doctor Han. I might say no to your suggestion.”
“I am lucky, aren’t I?” he whispered to you and leaned away, leaving you to deal with your burning cheeks and jumpy heart.
“I don’t like this at all,” you mumbled under your breath, worried about what those words he had said to you might mean. “I don’t like this at all.”
“What don’t you like?” Chan asked, joining you on your way to the elevator. He kept glancing at a chart, a pen between his fingers, trying to keep up with your fast pace. “Maybe slow down? You look super flushed.”
You sighed and pressed the button to call the elevator several times as if that would make it come faster. Chan lowered his chart and looked at you, as you walked back, studying your expression with a grin.
“It’s Jisung, isn’t it?”
“What are you talking about?” You crossed your arms and avoided his gaze.
“The reason why you’re that… flustered. Don’t think I didn’t see you two back there.”
You followed Chan’s pen as he gestured to where you had been with Jisung earlier, now empty as everyone returned to work.
“We were talking.”
“I could tell,” he remarked, a playful edge to his voice. “You were very… close while talking.”
You rolled your eyes, wondering why the elevator was taking so long. One more comment from Chan and you’d take the stairs. After a few moments, the elevator doors opened and you entered, followed by Chan.
“You know, you could say you like him, it wouldn’t hurt.”
Oh, it certainly would hurt. You were not ready for that yet.
“Stop playing matchmaker, Chan,” you warned, slightly desperate. “You make a terrible job at it.”
“Oh… so there’s a match.” He raised his hands in defence when you glared at him. “Your words, not mine.”
It was frustrating to talk to him sometimes. The elevator doors opened, and a couple of people entered and very few exited. You moved closer to Chan, trying your best to pretend that what he was saying didn’t bother you.
“I’ve known Jisung for a while.” He continued, and you rolled your eyes. “He hasn’t dated anyone since I’ve been here.”
“I didn’t know you were a CCTV camera now, Chan. That’s quite the upgrade, I must say.”
“I see you didn’t lose your sense of humour.” He took a deep breath and looked at you. “What I’m trying to say is that he is a nice guy. And you can tell he cares about you.”
And you did. Jisung was more than nice, he was great. And you enjoyed his company, and how he made you smile and laugh. But you couldn’t get past the fact that you were still healing from a five-year relationship, one where you had been engaged.
You saw all of that, all the care, all the kindness, all the happiness you brought to Jisung whenever you were together. And yet, you couldn’t get past your breakup. You couldn’t… accept that maybe there was more to life without feeling like you’d be back here again, in another failing relationship, picking up the pieces slowly and trying to glue them together, only for your heart to fall from your hands, shattering once again.
The conversation died down when the elevator doors opened on your floor and you exited without saying a word. Seungmin was there to greet you with a smile, extending a couple of documents to you. You looked at the names of the patients, recognizing a few, but others were new. And then, there was one that wasn’t yours.
“Isn’t this Jisung’s patient?” You extended the chart to Seungmin who looked at it, nodding.
“He was. He requested to be seen by a new doctor. Doctor Lee Minho assigned him to you.”
You shook your head. Unbelievable. The man knew you and Jisung were allies who called him out on his incompetency, pressuring him to do more for the department. And here he was, trying to pin you against one another by giving you one of Jisung’s patients. He knew how Jisung felt about his patients, he knew.
You extended the chart back to Seungmin and he accepted it. “Is he at his office right now?”
“Why?” Seungmin asked, cautious.
“I need to talk to him about that patient. Did he inform Jisung of the change?”
“Not yet, but I’m sure he will.”
“Where is Jisung?” You wanted to talk to him first.
“At the locker room.” You turned your back on Seungmin and went to the locker room, finding Jisung excitedly adding a sticky note to your locker.
“Y/N, weren’t you supposed to be doing rounds?” He leaned on your locker as if to block the sticky notes from your view. Today he had added more than one.
“Doctor Lee Minho assigned me to one of your patients.” You watched as the smile faded from his face. “He’s trying to get in between us.”
You stepped aside to let someone else enter the room and Jisung leaned away from your locker and walked out of the room, towards Lee Minho’s office. You followed him, seeing how he was visibly upset. He opened the door without knocking, to find the head of the department seating by his desk, looking over a couple of documents.
“Learn how to knock, Han Jisung.”
“Since when do you take my patients from me and give them to someone else?!” Jisung was furious. “This is a decision I should take.”
You closed the door behind you and walked next to Jisung, looking down at an unbothered Lee Minho. “I also want to understand why I was the doctor selected. Looking over the patient’s medical record, it doesn’t seem I would be the first choice.”
Lee Minho stood up from his chair and glanced at both of you, serious. “I don’t need to give any of you an explanation. The patient wanted to change doctors, I thought doctor Y/N would be the best choice. Respect that. Now, get back to work.”
Jisung let out a nervous laugh, but you kept your gaze on Lee Minho as he sat down, turning to his work. You rolled your eyes and exchanged a quick look with Jisung, gesturing to the door. He made a confused look as you opened the door and followed you outside.
“Are you just following what he’s asking of you?” Jisung asked, lips slightly parted as he looked at you, shocked.
“No, of course not.” You started to walk back to Seungmin’s desk, Jisung following you closely. “I want to talk to your patient in your presence. He should be the one making the choice, not that guy.”
“Well, the patient will obviously choose you, Y/N.”
“I don’t think so. You’ve been following him for several years, I will find arguments in your favour.” You gestured to Seungmin to give you the patient’s chart again and you glanced at it, next to Jisung. “As a last resort, we could ask the patient if he wants us to work together. It isn’t rare and if I am being honest, I’d be more comfortable with that.”
“You should do that!” Seungmin spoke and you and Jisung lifted your eyes from the chart to look at him. He fixed his glasses and smiled. “You prove Lee Minho wrong, and once word gets out that you are working together, maybe more people will feel inspired to do the same. And that way, you might be able to get support from other departments on helping you with the administration.”
“You’re suggesting gossip, Seungmin?” Jisung asked and his friend shrugged. “I don’t like that.”
“Ah, it’s not like people don’t talk about you two already.” He sat on his chair, unbothered by your shocked expression. You didn’t want to know what people were talking about. The last thing you wanted right now was more ashes to the fire already burning in your chest.
“What do people say?” Jisung crossed his arms, raising an eyebrow at Seungmin.
“For starters, they say you look good together.” Seungmin glanced at you and then at Jisung. “I agree. You make a good-looking couple. But they also say that you’ve been dating for a couple of weeks now. And after the scene with-”
“Thank you, Seungmin.” Jisung pinched the bridge of his nose, closing his eyes. You noticed that his cheeks were flushed. “I got the message.”
What was the message you were missing?
“Always doing my best. Now I will return to my work while you two work together. Go, dream team!” He didn’t even try to sound excited as he cheered for the two of you.
You shook your head and walked away from Seungmin’s desk, the patient’s chart on your hands as you took a deep breath.
“I don’t disagree with him,” Jisung gestured to the desk, keeping up with your pace. “Working together might be a good thing.”
“I thought you didn’t like people telling you what to do, Jisung. Especially when it comes to your patients.”
You had heard him loud and clear the first time, and you weren’t sure working with him would be a good idea.
“Good thing he wouldn’t be my patient, then,” he smiled at you and kept his gaze on you for a while before looking at the corridor in front of you. “I value your opinion, Y/N and I value your work too.”
You stopped walking and Jisung did the same a few steps ahead, looking back at you. You gulped. “I am very on the fence about this, and I want you to know that from the get-go. But I will call you out if you don’t listen to me. And I will leave you on your own the second you disregard me as less important.” You walked towards him, your eyes never leaving his. “From the moment we pass that door, we are a team. We are equal. Our opinions matter, yes. But we should think on what’s best for the patient, not on what’s best for us.”
“Why are saying all of this?” Jisung asked, slightly scared. He knew why you were saying this. And you knew too.
It was getting harder for the two of you to just keep this as a professional relationship. You could feel it in his eyes, in the way he smiled at you. Right now, he was excited to work with you, to have you by his side.
But one day, he’d tell you how he felt towards you. You knew how he felt towards you. And part of you wanted to feel that way too, to love him, to reciprocate the kindness, the care, everything he deserves. But you couldn’t yet.
You looked at Jisung while you were still longing for Jaehyun.
And you would break his heart. And he would have to see you, to work with you, to listen to you. What would happen then?
“It’s for the best,” you stated, trying to shove all these thoughts away. “We should both be on the same page about this. Do you understand what I’m saying?”
“I do, yes.” He smiled and you did the same, but your smile didn’t reach your eyes. “Should we go now?”
He started to walk in front of you, and you followed a few steps behind, knowing that Jisung didn’t fully understand what you had just said to him. You didn’t want to break his heart, you really didn’t.
You also liked him and that was why this was harder. You just hoped he kept his confession tucked in a small drawer in his heart, waiting for the right moment to share it with you.
The moment where you’d be able to say yes to him, instead of not yet.
— 💙 —
A week passed and you and Jisung worked side by side almost every day with your patient. He was a lovely man in his sixties with high cholesterol. His heart was growing weaker, according to the information on his medical chart and the exams performed, and the medication was starting to have no result in his condition.
“Have you considered surgery?” You asked him, looking away from his chart.
His wife was next to him, a woman his age with grey hair and wrinkles in her smile lines. She looked frightened at her husband, and he reciprocated the look.
“We consider this to be the best solution, given everything we’ve done so far,” Jisung spoke, standing next to you.
“We…” The old man started, shaking his head. “I don’t want surgery, doctor.”
“Isn’t it too risky at his age?” His wife asked, looking at Jisung. “You told us that with medication, we could solve the problem!”
“He will have to continue to take this medication for the rest of his life,” Jisung looked at you and you nodded.
“Surgery would be a preventive measure to ensure you have a better quality of life. The risks associated with it are low, compared to other surgeries at his age. It has a high success rate and a fast recovery as well, and we’d monitor you to make sure your evolution is positive.”
“Doctor Y/L/N and I think this would be the best for you. The risk of heart failure keeps increasing day by day, and the medication is not stopping that.”
“We could change the dosage,” his wife suggested. “You’ve done it before, why can’t you do it again?”
“Increasing dosage would put other organs at risk such as the liver, as well as the kidneys. It would be detrimental to your husband’s health in the long run.”
They looked at each other, worried. You walked closer to them and extended a flyer to the patient, smiling kindly. “This might help you make your decision. We don’t want to pressure you as to giving us an answer right now, so we’ll give you some time to think.”
“Your husband will remain at the hospital in the meantime for observation,” Jisung announced. “We’ll give you a few days to think, and we’ll come to answer any questions you may have.”
The old woman nodded and softly caressed her husband’s cheek, planting a kiss on his forehead. He grabbed her hand on his and smiled at her. You felt your hand brush against Jisung’s and he grabbed it, squishing it softly in between his.
“Thank you for everything.”
You nodded and smiled at them. “We’ll be here if you need us.”
Jisung let go of your hand and the two of you walked out of the room, walking side by side. He glanced at you occasionally, but you avoided his gaze. Even though he was no longer holding your hand, it still felt like it.
“I think that went well,” he said after a while when you reached Seungmin’s desk. Today was his day off, so in his place was an older nurse. You returned the chart to her, ordered some more exams, and she smiled politely at all of your requests.
“Let’s wait for their answer. Then we’ll say if it went well or not.”
Jisung nodded, shoving his hands on his pockets, and after thanking the nurse, the two of you started to make your way to the locker room. However, your plans were interrupted when you were greeted by a livid Lee Minho, looking at both of you with rage.
“This can’t be good,” Jisung mumbled between his teeth.
“The two of you in my office right now!” Lee Minho spoke, and you took a deep breath, followed by Jisung.
“Anything he says is never good. I wonder what he’ll be complaining about this time.”
The two of you made your way to his office, Jisung entering behind you and closing the door. You turned to look at Lee Minho who paced around his office, massaging his temples.
“What have you done?” He asked and you didn’t know if he was serious or not.
“We’ve been doing our job, doctor.” You crossed your arms and he looked at you, furious.
“What did I say about the patient?!” He asked, looking directly at Jisung. “Do you know how many requests I have of other patients that want you two specifically to be their doctors? Do you have any idea?!”
You and Jisung exchanged a confused look, and you didn’t understand what that meant, exactly.
“Every patient has the right to ask for a second opinion,” you argued, and he stopped walking. “And we have been working together because it was in the best interest of the patient. I asked Doctor Han to assist me during this transition period, as I did not feel comfortable taking the patient from him the way you intended to.”
“Then maybe you should question your medical career, Doctor Y/L/N.” Your lips parted but you closed them, afraid of saying something you might regret later. “If you cannot follow simple instructions, how can I trust you’ll do a good job at my department? Ever since you got here I have to deal with issues after issues, problems after problems… no wonder they didn’t want you at the bay hospital. You probably only brought them problems with that arrogance of yours.”
He was enjoying this, you could tell. Below that layer of anger, there was satisfaction in his words, Lee Minho had been waiting for the perfect moment to let you know how he truly felt about you. He expected them to bother you, but you were used to this. Jisung however, was ready to throw hands at him. You grabbed his wrist to prevent him from leaving your side and doing something stupid.
“Old habits die hard, Doctor Lee Minho,” you kept your calm composure, just to make him even more furious. You also wanted to enjoy this as well. “I will not admit that you diminish my medical career just because I don’t follow your rules. I chose to leave the bay hospital for personal reasons. And you accepted me because you know I am good at my job, probably the best at what I do in this hospital. Offend me all you want, but do not offend my medical career. I worked hard to get where I am, and I will not change just because it does not fit your agenda.” You took a deep breath and let go of Jisung’s wrist, walking to the door. You opened it and turned around to look at Lee Minho. “I will keep being arrogant and bringing you issues and problems. I won’t change just because you expect me to. Have a good day.”
You left the office and closed the door behind you, glancing at a watch nearby. Your shift was about to end, but you wanted to eat something before heading home. You checked the change on your pocket as you walked to the vending machines on this floor of the hospital. Jisung left Lee Minho’s office and joined you, letting out an angry sigh.
“I can’t believe him,” he shook his head. “Like… what is his problem? Can’t he just let us do our job?”
“He’s jealous and upset,” you finally had enough change in your palm to buy something. “And he doesn’t like it when people tell him like it is.”
The two of you stopped by a vending machine and you bought something and asked Jisung if he wanted something. He shook his head and leaned on the wall, looking at you as you opened the package, struggling slightly. He let out a soft laugh and gestured to the package.
“Let me open it,” he said, walking closer to you. You extended it to him, and he quickly opened it. “There you have it.”
As you snacked on the food from the vending machine, Jisung remained silent, but he never left your side. People passed by the two of you and you would smile and greet them, and oftentimes they would whisper amongst themselves. You tried not to notice but it was becoming harder.
“Have dinner with me tomorrow,” Jisung spoke seemingly out of nowhere. “There’s this new restaurant and I’d like to go there with you.”
You gulped as his eyes remained on you, expecting an answer. Part of you hoped that this was just a dinner between friends, and not something more. You didn’t want to ruin what you had. What you had was good and it made you feel safe.
“Sure,” you said, smiling at him. “Let’s have dinner tomorrow.”
— 💙 —
The restaurant where Jisung had brought you to was a lovely place. It had a simple, but classic decoration and you were glad you had chosen to wear something more casual but elegant for tonight’s dinner. Jisung also had dressed up nicely, opting for a buttoned-up shirt and some denim jeans and a blazer. You were used to seeing him in a white coat, so this was pleasant. He was a stylish man, besides being all those other wonderful things that you had learned to appreciate over time.
Still, there was this strange atmosphere between the two of you that you couldn’t get past. The more you noticed, the more you realized what this dinner entailed, what would probably happen.
You chatted throughout the entire dinner about yourselves and the things you had in common and every time he had the chance, Jisung complimented you. First, it was your outfit, then your hair, and when those were already said, he moved to your smile, your eyes, your laugh.
“What are you doing, Jisung?” You asked him directly at one point, but he didn’t answer. Instead, he took a sip of his drink and shrugged, smiling at you.
“I am just stating what I see.”
But he didn’t see it, did he? He didn’t see that at each of his compliments the distance between you was growing, that you were smiling less, laughing less as dinner went on. You looked at him as if asking him to not say anything else, to not make this even harder than it had to be.
You were here having dinner with him, but your mind was constantly going to your past. As to how you could be sharing this meal with Jaehyun, how you could be laughing with him, holding hands with him.
And yes, you had asked him to leave you alone, to never find you again, and you had cut all ties with him, but it was hard to not admit to yourself that some part of you still longed for him. Part of you wondered if you weren’t trying to fill that void with Jisung, while you were thinking it came from someone else.
After dinner was over, you decided to walk for a while together, before each of you went your separate ways. You walked side by side, glancing at the window-shops and pointing at objects that made you smile. It was your first time exploring these streets, you hadn’t had the chance yet as you were always at the hospital, resting, or doing something else.
Everything around here was quieter than the bay area. There, at this time of the night, tourists had taken over the main streets and were constantly taking pictures and posing at the local landmarks, stalling most of the resident’s way home. Here, the streets were not as crowded and you could walk next to each other while listening to each other clearly. You enjoyed that, although it did make your thoughts a little too loud for your taste.
Jisung took you to some of his favourite places in the city. A bakery that was closed at this time of the day, but that he said had the best-baked goods he ever tasted. The local cinema had a few movies for you to watch, but none of them was interesting to the both of you. A small bookstore where Jisung introduced you to the owner, who promised to give you discounts from that moment forward. You ended up buying three books that Jisung gladly carried in a recyclable bag you always had with you.
Your final stop was a vinyl store where he gushed over his favourite artists and told you which albums he had bought and which ones he had on his wishlist. You tried to remember the album covers so you could come back here and buy him one as a birthday gift. Or just as a gift, for no special occasion.
When your tour ended, Jisung decided to drive you home. You insisted on taking public transportation, but he said that if he had his car, he could drive you home. He presented pretty good arguments, such as not having to wait for the bus to arrive, stopping right in front of your door, and of course, the company.
“And let’s not forget the comfort as well,” he said just as a last one if you weren’t convinced yet. “My car is very comfortable. You should test it for yourself.”
You rolled your eyes and nodded. “Fine. Drive me home, I’ll give you the directions.”
With Jisung on the driver’s seat and you next to him, the two of you made your way to your apartment. It didn’t take long before you recognized the building where your rented apartment stood.
“Over there,” you signalled a parking spot to Jisung and he nodded, driving there.
He parked the car and turned off the engine, the silence taking over. You gulped and slowly removed your seatbelt, and he did the same.
“Thank you for the ride,” you smiled at him. “I’ll… get going now. Good night.”
“I’ll go with you,” you tried to tell him it wasn’t necessary, but he was already opening the car door.
You took a deep breath and exited, Jisung following you as you walked to your building, hands in his pockets.
“I had fun tonight,” you said, trying to keep the silence at bay. “The food was nice, the tour was entertaining and you’re right, the seats of your car are comfortable.”
He nodded and the two of you stopped, and you turned to look at him, smiling. Jisung gulped and took a few steps closer to you, but you didn’t move backwards.
“I want to do this again,” he said, a shy smile on his lips. He didn’t take his eyes from yours as he said it. “But…”
He walked closer to you and grabbed your hand in his. You gulped, your eyes looking at your hands together.
Don’t say it, Jisung. Not yet. Don’t.
“I… don’t want us to do it just as friends, Y/N. Or coworkers. I…” You looked back at him, knowing what he was about to say next. He smiled and took another step closer to you, caressing your cheek. “I love you, Y/N. And…”
He didn’t finish. Maybe it was the confusion in your eyes that caused him to take a step back, to drop your hand. Maybe it was your breathing that failed you or your trembling lip. Or maybe it was something else.
Not yet. Not yet. You shouldn’t have said it. Not yet.
Your thoughts were loud, and your lips were parted as if to let words out, but you couldn’t say anything. What were you supposed to say? What were you supposed to do?
“I…” You gulped and looked away from him. “I… don’t know what to do.”
It sounded like a cry for help because it was. You wanted to love Jisung, and you wanted to let him love you, but right now, in the back of your mind, you were struggling with doubt and insecurities.
What if you said yes to him, given him your all, and the same thing happened again? You couldn’t avoid thinking about Jaehyun and what had happened between the two of you. It wasn’t that you saw Jaehyun in Jisung, they couldn’t be more different. But you couldn’t help but fear that the same thing would happen. And you couldn’t love Jisung halfway. You didn’t want to love with doubt or fear. But if you said yes right now, that would happen.
Jisung was stunned as he looked at you. You gulped, looking him in the eyes, trying not to cry. You didn’t want to do this, but Jisung deserved better. Not some heartbroken woman who still hadn’t gotten over her ex-fiancé, who would use him to get over someone.
“We should keep things as they are,” you finally said, the words struggling to come out. “It’s for the best…”
There was so much you wanted to tell him. How you reciprocated his feelings, how you were feeling conflicted and confused. How you didn’t want to give him just half of you, how you were still healing, trying to get over everything that had happened. And yet, you didn’t say anything.
You watched as he gulped and let out a nervous laugh, scratching the back of his neck. He didn’t say anything else and just nodded as he turned around and walked back to his car. You waited to see him if he would turn around, be he didn’t. You wanted to go after him, but your feet were glued to the ground. You wanted to scream, ask him to come back, but the words didn’t come.
It was only when he drove away that something came out of your mouth. A sob that you couldn’t muffle with your hands.
You had broken his heart, you knew that was a given.
But you had broken yours too. And that you hadn’t expected. At least, not like this.
— 💙 —
When you got to the hospital, you went straight to the locker room, hoping you’d find Jisung there. Last night had been something that you couldn’t wrap your head around and for some reason, you wanted to see him. You had to see him, you had to explain yourself to him. You had spent most of your night thinking of the right way to say what you were feeling but every time you looked at yourself in the mirror, words didn’t come out. You were stunned, unable to express what you were thinking, feeling. It was frustrating.
The locker room remained quiet as a couple of your coworkers got ready for their shift, offering you polite smiles that you had a hard time reciprocating. You took your time getting ready, your heart jumping from your chest every time the door opened, only to get back to a normal heartbeat when you saw it wasn’t Jisung. People left to do their work and after waiting for more than enough, you decided you also had to go to work. You opened the door and walked outside, finding Seungmin at his desk.
“Good morning to you, doctor Y/L/N.” He looked at you and fixed his glasses, an inquiring expression on his face. “Did something happen? You look… distressed.”
That was too kind of him. You sighed and leaned on the counter. “Is Jisung here?”
“Date went well?” He asked curiously. The soft smile on his face faded and he gulped. “Date didn’t go well?”
“Is he here?” You asked, trying to keep the urgency away from your voice. “I need to talk to him.”
Seungmin shook his head, giving you a sympathetic look. “He’s… not coming today. Claimed he wasn’t feeling physically well.”
“Thank you, Seungmin.” You sighed and glanced at the charts on his desk. “I will make my rounds, then.”
He nodded and you tried your best to get distracted by work. You went to see a few of your patients that were recovering from surgeries, some that would have surgeries soon, and others who were paying a visit so you could see how they were doing, if they needed new medication or new exams ordered.
At lunch, you went to eat at the cafeteria, hoping that the noise would drown your thoughts. It didn’t work, because not even Changbin’s and Chan’s non-stop conversation was able to distract you from the loudness of your mind.
After your long shift at the hospital, you just wanted to go home. Today had been an exhausting day and your emotions were still on edge. Right now, you couldn’t wait to get home and eat something delicious and comforting.
You pressed the elevator button, and stepped back slightly, being careful to not get in the way of those who were working at this time of the day.
“Already on your way home?” Jisung’s voice made your heartbeat increase. You slowly turned around to find him glancing over a chart on his hand. He avoided your gaze, he didn’t even dare to look at you.
“My shift is over. I think I deserve some rest,” you spoke more harshly than you intended. Not wanting to give away your true feelings was becoming exhausting.
“Well, I can only wish you a happy rest, then.” Without adding anything else, he continued his way to the corridor and didn’t look back at you, not even once.
You sighed, watching as his figure moved away as if slipping through your fingers. So this was how it was going to be from now on? A strange atmosphere where you spoke in half words, didn’t share smiles or jokes, didn’t look at each other. Was this keeping things as they were before? No. It was the furthest thing from it.
This was pain. You weren’t even sure if you were thankful that at least he had spoken and acknowledged you, or if you should feel devastated because the good you shared with him was now gone.
Part of you wondered if he had moved on already. You were on the verge of letting the past go, maybe embracing the present. But it was going to take some time, you weren’t sure how long, but part of you wished you had that answer. Heartbreak is something you don’t get over quite easily.
However, you weren’t sure what heartbreak were you getting over right now. The one from last night, or the one from a couple of months ago.
— 💙 —
Jisung avoided you as much as he could. In the morning, he arrived earlier and stopped adding sticky notes to your locker. At lunch, he went your opposite way: if you were in the common room, he would go to the cafeteria. If you were at the cafeteria, he would go to the common room. It was painful for him to look at you, to try to make sense of what had happened.
He thought… he could’ve sworn you were on the same page about your feelings for each other. Jisung saw the way you looked at him, how you smiled at him, how you laughed with him. How you enjoyed his company, his presence as much as he did yours. So why didn’t you love him? What was the reason, what was he missing?
Wasn’t he enough when his heart was practically yours?
The hardest part of this all was the patients he shared with you. You oftentimes had discussions that turned into arguments about what was best. He didn’t listen to you, and he wondered if you listened to him. It became such a terrible environment that Jisung and you would often ask Seungmin to keep each other informed on what the other one was doing.
“You need to solve this,” Seungmin shook his head and gave Jisung some documentation for him to sign. “I am tired of acting like a messenger. I didn’t become a nurse to deal with this.”
“Do you have a better idea?” Jisung signed the papers and returned them to Seungmin. “I think we’re doing well. It could be worst.”
“Oh, it certainly could be worse, of course! Like you could come to work crying and pouting, and she could be screaming at you every day and refuse to work with you! It could be worse!” Seungmin rolled his eyes and fixed his glasses, looking Jisung in the eyes. “Are you a mature adult or a big child?”
Jisung sighed, taking in the comment of his friend. It was true, the way you two were behaving was probably extremely embarrassing to look at from the outside. There was an effort from both of you to look past what had happened, but some things are not easily forgotten. When Jisung looked at you, he went back to that night, to your rejection at his raw feelings that he thought you reciprocated.
How could something so wonderful crash down so violently like this?
He didn’t know if he was an idiot for not getting over you. Even if he avoided you, he still couldn’t help but glance your way when you were smiling, he couldn’t help but feel his heart getting wilder when he heard your laugh, he couldn’t help but long for you. Whenever you found him looking at you, your expression would quickly change into something that Jisung could only describe as pain, sorrow, or sadness. He would quickly look away, but your eyes remained on him. He didn’t dare to look back at you, afraid of what looking into your eyes would cause in him.
“I’ll think about it,” He eventually answered Seungmin, who was back on his chair, typing on his computer. “Is she at the locker room?”
Seungmin gave Jisung a glare and rolled his eyes. “I don’t know. My job is not to keep track of Y/N’s movements, you know? Figure it out yourself. I won’t help any of you anymore.”
Jisung rolled his eyes and walked to the locker room, hoping that he wouldn’t find you there and that his return home would be somewhat peaceful. When he entered, he found the small space empty and took a deep breath. He walked to his locker and opened it but quickly noticed a small, folded paper on the bottom, something he didn’t have there this morning. He looked around the room, making sure he was alone, and after grabbing it, he unfolded it.
It didn’t take him long to recognize your handwriting. You had made an effort to make it readable, and part of him couldn’t help but appreciate the effort, even if he couldn’t smile at it. He sighed, his eyes going over what you had written him. It wasn’t a pun, or a fact, or a terrible drawing. It was something that he had said to you the first time you two met.
I may be tough to crack, and hard to understand, but you did get to my heart.
Jisung gulped, reading your words over and over again, trying to make some sense of it. What was this supposed to mean? He wasn’t sure if this was a cruel joke from you or what it meant. He took a deep breath and as he exhaled, he ripped the paper in half and without thinking twice, threw it in the trash.
He got ready to go home and exited the locker room as quickly as he could, not looking back when he closed the door. He pressed the elevator button and waited for it to get to his floor. When it arrived, he stepped aside, giving space so people could exit and he noticed you in the small crowd.
His heart sunk in his chest as you passed by him, oblivious to his presence. He watched as you greeted Seungmin, a polite smile on your face your eyes still sad. You continued to move to the corridor and passed the locker room, causing Jisung to take a deep breath when he saw your figure disappear in the distance.
“Looking like a lost puppy won’t get her to talk to you, you know?” Seungmin’s voice brought Jisung back to reality. He cleared his throat and waved his friend goodbye and entered the elevator, watching the doors close in front of him.
He shook his head, finally understanding what he had done. Your source of contact to him, your small attempt to express your raw feelings, Jisung had thrown them in the trash like they meant nothing. He gulped, thinking again of that night.
He had told you he loved you and you asked him for everything to remain the same. And now, you had given him something, some sort of chance, and he had thrown it away, ignored it, disregarded it.
But the words remained. The message lingered. The pain settled in.
You did get to my heart, you had written him. What were you trying to tell him?
Jisung wanted to know. He needed to know if this pain was fear of closure, struggling to move on, or hope for something more.
— 💙 —
Everything in your body screamed that you needed to rest, after the long surgery in the operating room. After letting the patient's family know how everything went well and seeing their relieved faces, you went to your floor, taking the stairs. You stayed still for too long and needed to stretch your legs.
With each step, you thought about what you were going to do next. Part of you wanted to stay behind and get something from the cafeteria and eat in the common room. Another wanted to go home, shower and then go out for a drink at the local bar. Maybe that last one wasn’t such a good idea as there was a chance you might see Jisung and you didn’t want the mood to get strange.
You wondered how he was doing. He hadn’t mentioned anything about the note you dropped on his locker a couple of days ago, but you saw that he dropped it in the trash. The sight of it made you cry, but you understood Jisung’s decision. After all, hadn’t you done something similar to him? Maybe this was his way of telling you that he had moved on and that now you were only coworkers, people who saw each other in corridors, patient’s rooms, but had nothing in common other than their job.
Wasn’t it sad? Your insecurities, your worries of falling in love with someone who would break your heart had that exact effect on you. Because even if you hadn’t told Jisung you loved him, you did love him, more than you initially expected. And all of this was absolutely heartbreaking.
Still, now you knew you had missed your window. Whatever feelings Jisung had for you, they were no longer there, you were certain of it. You had to once again, move on from heartbreak, heal on your own, and hope that the next time you would fall in love wouldn’t lead to heartbreak.
After getting your stuff from the locker room, you climbed down the stairs again, avoiding the desk near the elevators. You were happy for the silence you carried with you, it helped you make sense of your thoughts for the rest of the day.
As you climbed the stairs slowly, you started to regret your decision. There were too many steps, split into many floors and you even considered catching the elevator on another floor and using it to get to the ground floor. Eventually, you reached the end of the stairs and smiled.
Mission accomplished, you thought to yourself.
You continued to walk, seeing the hospital’s main doors in front of you. A couple more steps and you would go home and rest. That’s what you needed today.
“Why the stairs?” You turned around to find Jisung catching his breath behind you. “You could’ve taken the elevator, you know?”
“I wanted to stretch my legs,” you justified, noticing how flushed his cheeks were. “Good night, Jisung.”
You turned around and started to walk, leaving him behind. Still, you heard his steps echoing behind you and you turned around once again, causing Jisung to almost fall on you. He stopped startled, and your eyes widened.
“Are you ok?” You asked him.
Spending some time away from Jisung caused you to notice how tired he looked. His cheeks were less full, and his eyes sad, not to mention that he looked distressed. You couldn’t help but be worried about him. You softly grabbed his chin and tilted his head to the side, noticing a cut on his eyebrow.
“What happened?” His lip was also slightly swollen, you noticed. “Did you get into a fight?”
“I had too much to drink,” he admitted, looking at you as you observed his face. “And I fought someone at the bar yesterday. And before you say anything,” he warned and you looked into his eyes, lips slightly parted. “I am not proud of what I did.”
You weren’t sure if his words were referring to the fight or something else. You slowly dropped your hand from his chin but didn’t move back. Part of you had missed being this close to him and you were afraid of what would happen if you stepped away from him.
“You shouldn’t be,” you answered. “You look like a wreck, you know?”
“So do you, Y/N.” Now he was the one worried, looking over your face as if looking for something.
You nodded and sighed. “I know, Jisung. I… feel like one.”
For a while, none of you said anything. There was so much you wanted to ask him, so much you wanted to explain to him, but you weren’t sure where to start or what was important right now. Everything seemed meaningful and worth sharing with him.
You missed him so much. The feeling hit in such a way that you could barely hold it together as you looked at him. Did you really have to get over him? You didn’t want to. Still, you were almost certain he had moved on and you should that too. It was for the best.
“What do you need?” You asked him, gesturing to the stairs behind him. “What is so urgent that you had to come running?”
“I… We… This…” he gestured between the two of you with a finger and sighed in desperation. “We need to solve this.”
“What do you mean?” You asked, raising an eyebrow.
“Y/N…” He shook his head, pinching the bridge of his nose. “I can’t keep doing this. I can’t… pretend that what I said to you meant nothing. I can’t… ignore what you left at my locker. I want to but… but I can’t.”
“Jisung…” He messed his hair and sighed.
“It’s hard, you know?” His eyes met yours, trying to keep his emotions to himself. But you knew him. Certain things he could no longer hide from you. “All that time, I thought you… you liked me too. And then you say that everything should remain the same. That… it was better this way. But is it?”
You opened your mouth to speak but Jisung kept going. “But then, you look at me like that. As if you… as if you didn’t mean what you said. As if… as if…”
“As if I love you.” The words left your lips as a soft whisper. You watched as Jisung nodded, all the hurt and suffering those words brought to him. He had said them to you once, but you had never said them to him.
“Yes, as if you… love me,” he concluded, the words foreign to him. “But do you? I thought you didn’t, but then you wrote me that note and now I don’t know what to think anymore. Am I seeing things? Or do you… love me… too?”
You nodded and took a step closer to him. Your fingers traced the buttons on his shirt, and you looked him in the eyes, nodding again. “I love you, Jisung. You’re not seeing things.”
There was so much more you wanted to tell him, so much you wanted to explain but right now, that didn’t matter. He cupped your face and pulled closer, brushing his lips slowly against yours before kissing you softly. He flinched and the two of you parted ways, an apologetic expression in his eyes.
“My lip…” he reminded you and you smiled softly. You kissed his cheek and his smile widened before he winced again, shaking his head. You let out a soft giggle.
“We’ll repeat this some other time.”
“Yes,” he nodded and caressed your cheek, looking into your eyes fondly. “Many more times.”
— 💙 —
Things at the hospital were better than they had been. Jisung and you were trying to find your pace between having a relationship and working together which led to a lot of stolen kisses in the locker room, and some more private notes in each other’s lockers, now hidden from everyone’s eyes.
You had expressed your feelings to Jisung and explained why on that night, you had said what you did. He had never considered your fears, or what you might have been going through, but he was glad that now he knew. You had been conflicted, worried, scared of what loving Jisung could mean to you. He wasn’t going to break your heart, that was for sure. He was yours now for you to love and to care.
Oh, and how wonderful it was to be loved by you. Jisung was so happy that he was by your side now, that he didn’t have to pretend that he didn’t admire you, or that his smile wasn’t only for you. You had to remind him that you were at your workplace, but sometimes he didn’t care.
“Just give me a kiss,” he whined, wrapping his arms around your waist behind you. “And then I’ll leave.”
“You know we’re at work, right?” You turned your head to look at him and he kissed your cheek. “Jisung!”
“It was a friendly kiss! And it’s not like people don’t know about us… in fact, I want them to know.”
You closed your locker and Jisung let go of your waist waiting for you to turn around and look at him.
“Well, people can know, but I still want our patients to trust us. We should control ourselves a little bit more.”
“Right…” Jisung walked towards you and you leaned on the locker behind you. He grinned, moving his head close to yours. “So I can’t do this here?”
“What-” He kissed your jaw softly and you slapped him on the shoulder, eyes widened. “Jisung!”
“Nobody is coming!” He pointed to the door. “Just a kiss, please.” You shook your head and crossed your arms. “Just one.”
“It’s never just one, and we know it.”
“That’s because you’re irresistible,” he whispered to your ear, and you rolled your eyes. He pouted when you looked at him. “Just one, please.”
“Fine,” you pulled him closer and kissed him softly and then let go of him, fixing the collar of his white coat, satisfied with your control. You smiled at him and warned. “Just one.”
“Yes.” He wanted more, though. He opened his mouth to speak but you quickly placed a finger on his lips.
“No, I won’t open an exception right now.”
He chuckled and shook his head, watching as you walked towards the locker room, trying to open it. You gave Jisung an upset look and he shrugged, joining you and unlocking the door.
“I told you, no one was coming…”
“I can’t believe you did this, Jisung.” You opened the door, shaking your head.
“It won’t be the last time, I can assure you of that,” he whispered to you and saw your cheeks blushing. He smiled. “I’ll let you know next time so you can… relax.”
“Jisung…” You warned. “We’re at work.”
He nodded, understanding your tone. You were right, but Jisung didn’t mind making you a little flustered in the morning. You also had your ways of teasing him, which were sometimes worse than his.
“Good morning, lovebirds.” Seungmin greeted in his unbothered tone. He studied you and then Jisung and fixed his glasses. “I have some good news for you.”
“What is it?” You asked expectantly and leaned on the counter as if to listen to him better.
“Well,” Seungmin started, glancing at Jisung again. “Lee Minho has said no to the board about them reducing the department’s budget.”
“Finally, the man does something,” you whispered so only Jisung and Seungmin could hear. “Why did he do that, though?”
“That, I don’t know. Chan told me the meeting with the administration was pretty intense.”
“Well,” Jisung cleared his throat and looked at you. “I’m sure he realized you and I would riot if he didn’t do anything, so he did something this time.”
“I’m sure it was the power of love that compelled Lee Minho to stand up to the administration…” Seungmin rolled his eyes and sighed. “Have you listened to yourself lately, Jisung?”
You laughed and patted Jisung on the shoulder, starting to walk away. He pouted as you moved away from him. “We’ll have lunch together?”
You nodded and gave him a thumbs-up before waving at him. “I’ll meet you in the common room, ok?”
“I’ll start heating your lunch for you!” He waved you goodbye, smiling brightly.
He watched as you disappeared in the corridor, already missing you.
“Just get out of my sight,” Seungmin said, gesturing with his head to the corridor. “All of this in the morning is making me sick.”
“Good thing you work at a hospital, then,” Jisung shrugged and smiled. “I feel like Y/N and I should check up on your heart, you know? I think you have a rock there instead.”
“Ha Ha, very funny doctor Han.” Seungmin rolled his eyes and returned to his work.
Jisung took this cue and did the same, looking at the clock more often than he’d like to admit, always counting down the minutes before he could be with you again.
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