Modern AU where HC gets into a major accident while riding his motorcycle, sending him into a year-long coma. When he wakes up, he can’t seem to remember the past five years of his life. There are so many unfamiliar faces in his hospital room, though the one HC can pinpoint is the upperclassmen he crushed on all through university, XL, who sits beside his bed looking incredibly relieved.
“I knew you would pull through. I just knew it. My San Lang is so strong,” XL says happily, throwing his arms around HC’s shoulders. HC has about a hundred questions running through his mind, including the nickname that HC has never told anyone to call him, but the fact that XL is hugging him right now impedes all trains of thought.
A pair of other familiar faces barge into the room. HC’s face immediately darkens.
“Don’t just sit there, idiot. Hug your husband back,” FX barks.
“It’s not like you nearly gave him a heart attack when the news of your accident reached him,” MQ snarkily adds.
HC abruptly stiffens in XL’s hold.
H-husband? With XL?
When had they even begun dating?
“S-San Lang?” XL asks, pulling away when HC doesn’t return the hug nor the enthusiasm of seeing his husband. “I’m sorry, did I hurt you? I was just super excited that you woke up.”
HC stares wordlessly into XL’s kind eyes, holding the same warmth they did when HC happened to catch a glance at him on campus.
“Does San Lang want something to eat? The place with your favorite ramen is just down the corner. I can pick some up and bring it back here,” XL suggests with a hopeful expression.
HC’s eyebrows furrow. No matter how hard he tries, he doesn’t remember the place XL is talking about. He doesn’t remember how he and XL somehow got to be partners—where had the rest of HC’s college career gone? HC barely even remembers his accident in the first place. It was no doubt incredibly traumatic.
What was his last thought before everything went black?
Ah, a severe throbbing sensation pummels HC’s brain. It hurts. It hurts too much to think, to remember. He still hasn’t answered XL, who now looks even more concerned.
The single term of endearment coming out of XL’s mouth makes HC jerk away, out of XL’s reach. The flash of hurt flickering on the older man’s face doesn’t go unnoticed. HC’s gut churns uncomfortably in the suffocating room.
“I’m sorry. I-I don’t know what’s going on right now,” HC mutters.
“What d-do you mean?” XL shakily asks, though he can probably already guess the answer. “San Lang?”
“I’m not your San Lang,” HC chokes out. Tears openly cascade down XL’s cheeks. HC kicks himself for making such a gentle person in his life cry.
HC doesn’t know who he is at the moment. But he also knows he isn’t worth the broken expression on XL’s face.
“I can’t remember anything after my junior year of university,” HC admits, frustration building up inside him. He feels pathetic in a way his present self with all his memories wouldn’t feel. HC mentallly screams at himself to recall just one thing, one moment among the blank void that has replaced his sense of self.
Murmurs spread across the room, making HC even more anxious. He cannot—for the life of him—fathom why so many people would show up to his hospital room, why so many people would care? For the first time since he reached adulthood, HC feels the urge to cry.
“We weren’t dating back then. And now I’m told that we’re husbands?” HC continues on in disbelief, heart clenching in his chest. “It’s…too much.”
XL wilts sadly in his seat.
“I’m sorry, Xie Lian. Maybe I’ll remember with time, but right now, I’m just…lost.”
No one utters a sound. It’s not their moment to intrude on, yet they stand in the room having expected to celebrate HC’s awakening. Instead, they linger with confusion and disbelief. HC from five years ago was essentially sitting in that hospital bed. And he didn’t remember anything about being together with XL.
XL bites his lower lip in contemplation. Over the years, XL has gotten to know HC in all of his moods and emotions. Despite his husband’s lost memories—which he still has a chance of recovering as he heals—XL can clearly see that HC is moments away from caving in on himself.
XL has made both himself and HC a promise to always be there for HC in times of need. It was in their vows, after all.
“Can I..?” XL gestures to HC’s pale, boney hand. With a sorrowful look, HC nods pitifully.
XL scoots closer to encapsulate HC’s hand in both of his own. He holds it delicately, interlocking his fingers between the gaps of his partner’s.
“It’s okay,” XL whispers. He squeezes HC’s hand lightly. HC’s own tears dampen his cheeks. XL can see how anguished his husband is for not remembering anything about them.
While XL is upset and disappointed, he’s also just glad that HC is alive and out of his coma. HC came back to him, this is all XL could ever ask for.
“Are you sure?” HC whispers back dejectedly.
XL’s heart constricts painfully. He missed his husband so much.
“More than sure. For now, focus on getting some rest, okay?” XL hesitated before asking, “Do you want me to be here when you wake up?”
HC weakly squeezes XL’s hands back. It’s an answer enough.
When HC’s eyes slip shut, exhausted from exerting so much energy after sleeping for a year, XL allows more tears to roll down his face. A breathless sob escapes his quivering lips, which he presses firmly against the back of HC’s hand.
“I missed you.”
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